West Papua is one of the provinces of Indonesia, located in the western half of New Guinea Island. Although the province has abundant natural resources, the local people’s prosperity and the situation have worsened due to the abuse of their fundamental human rights by others. For example, many cases have involved Indonesian military personnel violating West Papuan human rights. Thus, the West Papua Human Rights Center aims to elevate and improve the current condition of West Papuan human rights.
What is the West Papua Human Rights Center (WPHRC)?
It is a human rights organization based in the United States, specifically in Washington, DC, and Virginia. The one who led the WPHRC was Herman Wainggai. The organization was assembled in 2018 and launched the following year. The organization consists of many human rights activists and academics.
Together, they work for the province’s brighter future free of colonial corporate administration and military intervention. The members are willing to fight to uphold the locals’ fundamental human rights. Thus, it will create a safe environment for the local communities.
In supporting and monitoring the ongoing crisis in West Papua, the WPHRC pursue to improve the locals’ human rights and establish many sources of aid by doing the following actions:
- Recording West Papuan women’s and children’s stories, then assessing their urgent necessity.
- Facilitating many school supplies and necessary education about the English language and cultural education for children and adults.
- Building several legal workshops to introduce and teach the local people about their fundamental human rights.
- Increasing the global community’s awareness about human rights violations and issues in West Papua.
- Facilitating the freedom of religion for the local people
Who is Herman Wainggai?
Herman Wainggai is a leader and representative from West Papua for the United Nations and the US Congress. Mr. Wainggai was exiled to the United States of America and forbidden to enter the land of Papua, especially Jayapura, the capital city of Papua Province. He was active in voicing the West Papuan people’s voices for freedom of the land from the Indonesia Government.
Due to his former status as a political prisoner, Mr. Wainggai could only escape to Indonesia’s neighboring country, Australia. Then, he moved to the United States. Now, he is the leader of the West Papua Human Rights Center, leading the organization to uphold the Nonviolent Struggle in West Papua.
The Fundamental Human Rights
The United Nations General Assembly officially affirmed The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. This declaration describes the standard agreement on the definition of human rights and explains the concept of human rights. Human rights are rights that have existed since a person is born.
The rights are not earned but inherent to every human being regardless of race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, ability, language, or any other parts that comprise their identity. The agreement defines human rights as universal and applicable to every nation.
Thus, the national leader must fulfill the populace’s human rights. Examples of fundamental human rights are the right to life, the right to freedom of religion, opinion, thought, and expression, the right to equal treatment, the right to education, the right to privacy, the right to asylum, the right to marry and build family, and the right to work.
The West Papua Human Rights Center, led by Herman Wainggai, has been fighting for the West Papuans’ rights ever since its founding. The organization wants justice and human dignity above all else to protect local people’s freedom. Also, the organization prefers to use peaceful ways to resolve human rights violations such as documenting the struggle of women and children, building many workshops, and facilitating supplies for the people’s education.