Protecting Human Rights in the Mining Industry in Papua

Get to Know Mining industry

Even though there are benefits, especially in terms of regional and national income, mining can damage the natural and human environment. How do related parties protect the human rights of the mining industry in West Papua?

For example, the Wabu Block, Intan Jaya, Papua, gold mining project by Mining Industry Holding BUMN Mind ID, which affects the expulsion of the Papuan people as owners of certain customary rights. 

According to Commission VII of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia, it is not justified from a regulatory standpoint. Moreover, it is against human rights, especially for the inhabitants of Intan Jaya, Papua.

Violence in the Mining Industry

Rules About Mining industry

The surge in a violent conflict that has happened in Papua, which has led to the deaths of members of the TNI apparatus and members of the Papuan population, has alarmed Commission VII of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia. [1]

Bambang Hariyadi, Deputy Chairman of Commission VII of the House of Representatives, made this statement at the beginning of a meeting with the Intan Jaya Indigenous People’s Rights Advocacy Team. 

He emphasized that the exploitation of gold mining by holding Mind ID in the Wabu block, which resulted in the expulsion of the Papuan people as owners of certain customary rights, was something that could not be justified in terms of certain regulations. This is against human rights, especially for the Papuan people. 

He further explained that mining does not cause conflict with local communities. Because they must involve local communities when mapping mining areas.   Based on UU No. 3 tahun 2020, Pasal 10 ayat 2, the determination of mining areas is carried out in a transparent, participatory, and responsible manner.[2]

Rejecting Mining Exploitation on Mount Wabu

Mining industry is supervised for the sustainability of nature

In an integrated manner with reference to opinions from government agencies related to affected communities, and taking into account ecological, economic, human rights, and socio-cultural aspects, as well as having an environmental perspective by taking into account regional aspirations. 

On that occasion, Bartolomeo Smith, the leader of the Intan Jaya, Papua, advocacy team for the rights of the indigenous people, expressed his desire to have the mining BUMN MIND ID plan to mine the Wabu Block rejected. 

The Nine Demands

In addition, Bartolomeo read out nine demands from the indigenous people in Wabu Block, Intan Jaya, Papua: [3]

  1. Refuse the state’s use of the mountain gold mine in Block B Wabu, Intan Jaya, Papua. 
  2. Applied to the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Indonesia to immediately revoke the business license of PT Antam Tbk.
  3. Reject any and all discussion of mountain gold mine mining.
  4. As a result of the violent confrontation between the Police and the rebels from 2019 to 2020, the Intan Jaya indigenous people lived in terror, were under pressure, and fled to other locations.
  5. The indigenous Intan Jaya people, who own all customary rights and inhabit the entire Intan Jaya territory and the entire planet, declare their stance of rejecting the exploitation of the gold mountain mine in the name of any interest. 
  6. Ask Commission VII of the DPR RI to request the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, BUMN, to urge them not to involve the people and the government of Intan Jaya, the Governor, the Papuan Parliament, and various other parties in discussions about the exploitation of the Block B Wabu gold mountain mine.
  7. Urge the Ministry of SOEs to stop seeking and lobbying investors since the Wabu block’s residents will suffer and perish on their own land due to the proposal to exploit the gold mountain mine. 
  8. The Intan Jaya natives demanded that the four firms that held concessions over the gold mountain mine not be permitted to operate or sign permits for its use. 
  9. The central government must reconsider its approach to sending non-organic military forces to Papua and remove all non-organic forces stationed in Intan Jaya because the indigenous people there want to live in safety and harmony.

Follow Up and Coordination

In response, Bambang noted that the House of Representatives Commission VII had endorsed the goals of the indigenous people of Intan Jaya. In addition, his party will follow up diligently and collaborate with MIND ID, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources Director General of Mineral and Coal, and the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources. On that occasion, he underlined that everyone does not want Papua to suffer harm merely.

Those are the community’s efforts to uphold human rights in Papua regarding the mining industry, especially recently at Mount Wabu.