Indonesia: Seminar on promoting and protecting human dignity in Balinese culture

Indonesia: Seminar on promoting and protecting human dignity in Balinese culture

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI), in cooperation with the Faculty of Law of the Udayana University, organized a seminar and a focus group discussion titled "Promotion and Protection of Human dignity in the Balinese culture" in Denpasar, Bali, on 19 August.
Article 09 September 2022 Indonesia

The seminar and discussion aimed to introduce "Nilai Kemanusiaan (principles of humanity)", a joint initiative of the ICRC and PMI to collate the common elements on the respect for and protection of human dignity under universal humanitarian values and the Balinese culture.

In her keynote speech, Dra Jaleswari Pramodhawardani, Deputy V for Political, Legal, Defence, Security and Human Rights Affairs of the Presidential Staff Office, said that humanitarian principles as well as local wisdom should be the source of energy and inspiration for the nation. Dr Hilmar Farid, Director-General of Culture of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology, explained that we can restore human dignity through cultural works and inspiration.

The events brought together academicians, experts on Balinese culture, community leaders and provincial government representatives. They discussed on finding humanitarian values in Balinese traditions and preserving them in the communities. One of the main points discussed was Menyama Braya, a concept in Balinese society that upholds harmony among citizens, respects diversity and considers others as family.

Jaleswari Pramodhawardani, Presidential Staff Office delivering her speech

Sudirman Said, secretary-general of PMI, explained the importance of adapting local humanitarian values and principles for the PMI when carrying out its humanitarian activities.

Alexandre Faite, head of the ICRC's regional delegation for Indonesia and Timor-Leste, stated that principles of humanity do not exclusively belong to international norms. "The 'Nilai Kemanusiaan' programme underlines values such as respect for physical and psychological integrity and seeks to emphasize the shared elements of the cultures or traditions throughout Indonesia," he explained.

Prior to the discussion on Balinese culture, a series of discussions were also organized to find the convergence between humanity and the culture of Minang, Maluku, Bugis and Dayak. Discussions on the Acehnese and Javanese cultures will be organized in the coming months.

Participants and speakers of the seminar

Through the "Nilai Kemanusiaan" programme that was initiated in 2020, the ICRC and the PMI have been exploring the convergences between humanitarian and cultural values in Indonesia.

 "Nilai Kemanusiaan" encompasses the basic humanitarian values that exist in international norms and are also found in various forms, origins and cultures throughout the world. It includes the following ten principles:

  1. Physical and psychological integrity must be respected.
  3. Sexual dignity must be guaranteed.
  5. Children must be protected.
  7. The wounded and sick must be cared for and protected.
  9. Health-care facilities and personnel must be safeguarded.
  11. Humanitarian assistance to those in need must be facilitated.
  13. Access to education must be facilitated. Educational facilities must be respected.
  15. Individual and communal property, including places of worship must be respected.
  17. People under your control must be treated with respect and dignity.
  19. Mortal remains must be handled in a dignified way.