The Importance of Advocating for Human Rights in West Papua’s Communities

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West Papua is one of Indonesia’s provinces dealing with human rights abuses and social injustice. The indigenous Papuans have faced discrimination and violence for decades. Therefore, advocating for human rights becomes a necessity.

One of the fundamental aspects of advocating for human rights in West Papua is raising awareness about violations in this region.

Human rights activists and non-government organizations undoubtedly encourage the government to be more concerned about this issue. They highlight the violation cases through documentaries, social media campaigns, as well as public demonstrations.

Violations in West Papua

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The number of cases for violation of human rights in West Papua increased in 2022. The victims are not only men but also women and children.

According to the data presented by the Pusaka Bentala Rakyat Foundation (PUSAKA), victims of violence were more than 300 people [1]. Most of them are the victims of the conflict about oil palm plantations.

No doubt, many violation cases occur in Jayapura, Jayawijaya, Timika, and other regions. In addition, the hostage of the Susi Air Pilot adds to the list of the government’s failure to protect civilians in Papua.

It is required an effective strategy to protect civilians. So they are not involved in any conflicts. The government must be active in investigating any reports of violence against civilians. Also, they have to assist the victim.

Another recent violation case was the death of TNI members in a shootout with the West Papua National Liberation Army-Free Papua Organization. This case shows that the violation of human rights happens to civilians and military members.

Efforts for Advocacy for Human Rights

Efforts to Advocating for Human Rights

Due to a lot of violation cases occurring in West Papua, it is essential to establish an independent mechanism to investigate the violation.

Komnas HAM commits to handling this human rights issue. This organization encourages the Indonesian government to solve all human rights violation cases using a humanitarian-based approach.

Atnike Nova Sigiro, the chairperson of Komnas HAM, states that the human rights violation in West Papua is a complex issue. It involves the violation of civilians, political, and social contexts.

Atnike also explains that nowadays, the hottest issue exposed is the conflict between OPM and the Indonesian government. Papuans also faced other impacts related to human rights violations.

For instance, they lack economic and social access because of the conflict. In addition, another problem is fulfilling the rights of women and children to get safe shelter. Then, what are the solutions to these problems?

Here are several recommendations for the Indonesia government:

  1. Indonesian government commits to resolving the human rights violations that occurred in Papua.
  2. The government also protect human right responsibilities. These include the protection of freedom of expression and marginalized groups such as women, children, and minorities [2]
  3. Furthermore, empowering local communities in West Papua is another crucial aspect of advocating for human rights. Supporting these groups through capacity-building programs and access to legal aid can help strengthen their ability to advocate human rights and equity.

Human Rights can be achieved with the collaboration among the government, humanitarian organizations, and communities.”


We can take many actions to protect human rights in West Papua. For instance, we can create solidarity campaigns and provide a platform to express their rights. By standing with Papuan, we can demonstrate our commitment to justice and human rights.

Overall, advocating for human rights in West Papua is an urgent thing to do. Human rights in West Papua can be protected by raising awareness, showing solidarity, and the government’s commitment. It may be challenging. But through collective efforts, we can strive for justice in West Papua.