The ICRC regional delegation in Jakarta
The ICRC strives to strengthen: the emergency-response capacities of the Red Cross Societies of Indonesia and Timor-Leste; and their role in improving these countries’ prison standards. It seeks to visit detainees in Indonesia. It works with the armed forces and universities to promote international humanitarian law (IHL), and in Timor-Leste, provides support to families of missing persons.
Low-intensity violence persists in some parts of Indonesia, mainly in Papua, linked to political disturbances, socio-economic unrest and criminality. Numerous arrests of people suspected of links with "terror networks" serve as a stark reminder of the continued threat of “terrorism”.
A powerful earthquake in the city of Padang and surrounding districts in October 2009 left more than 1,000 people dead and hundreds missing, and caused considerable damage to infrastructure. In 2010, almost simultaneously, three devastating natural disasters hit the country: floods in West Papua, a tsunami in West Sumatra and a volcanic eruption of Mt Merapi in Central Java.
Timor-Leste is enjoying its longest period of stability since gaining independence. The authorities are focusing on addressing social and economic issues and on institution-building.
The ICRC established a presence in Indonesia in 1979 and in Timor-Leste following its independence in 2002. In February 2009, at the request of the authorities, the ICRC suspended its field operations, including activities on behalf of prisoners in Indonesia and closed its sub-delegations in Jayapura, Papua province, and Lhokseumawe, Aceh province. The government requested the ICRC to renegotiate the agreements formalizing its presence in the country and its activities on behalf of detainees.
In Timor-Leste, the ICRC visits detainees and assesses their treatment and living conditions and reports its findings to the authorities concerned. The organization is supporting the creation of a national mechanism to clarify the fate of people unaccounted for between 1975 and 1999.
The governments of Indonesia and Timor-Leste work with the ICRC on IHL implementation. Promotion of IHL and international human rights law among the armed (and in Indonesia police) forces, including peacekeepers, continues, with the delegation providing support for the conduct of training courses and specialized seminars. The ICRC also works to increase knowledge of IHL and promotes humanitarian values among university lecturers and students, diplomats, national and regional authorities, prominent think-tanks and religious leaders.
The Indonesian and Timor-Leste Red Cross Societies are key operational partners of the ICRC. The delegation provides them with training and technical, material and financial support to strengthen their capacities mostly in emergency preparedness, restoring family links and the promotion of IHL and humanitarian principles. It also supports their cooperation with government institutions to help improve prison standards in both countries.
The regional delegation is strengthening its cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, whose secretariat is in Jakarta, and raising awareness among its States members of humanitarian issues, concerns, imperatives and principles.