Press releases Special Procedures
United Nations Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context, Ms. Raquel Rolnik Official Mission to the Republic of Indonesia
11 June 2013
Ladies and gentlemen from the media,
I would like to thank you for taking the time to participate in this press conference, which aims to present the preliminary findings of the official visit that I have undertaken to Indonesia, from 30 May to 11 June 2013, at the invitation of the Government.
I would like to start by thanking the Government of the Republic of Indonesia for inviting me and for extending an exemplary support to my visit. I have very much appreciated the meaningful and substantive exchange of views with Government authorities and agencies. The spirit of openness and cooperation shown during my stay in the country has enabled me to conduct a fruitful and independent visit and analysis of the housing situation in the country.
I also would like to express my gratitude to the office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator and the United Nations Country Team for providing logistical and substantive support for the visit.
During my stay, I met with various Government authorities, including:
The Head of the Constitutional Court, the Minister for Public Housing, the Minister of Public Works, Minister of Social Affairs, the Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, representatives of the Ministries of Women Empowerment and Child Protection, National Development Planning, Law and Human Rights, the Head of the National Land Agency, representatives of the National Agency for Disaster Management, the office of the Ombudsman, and Perum Perumnas. I met with the Governor of Yogyakarta, and with the Vice Governor of Jakarta; I also met with the Mayors of Makassar and Surabaya. Please allow me to convey my deep appreciation to all of them as well as their teams for taking the time to meet with me and engaging in a fruitful dialogue.
I also met with the National Human Rights Commission, the National Commission for Violence against Women and Indonesia Commission for Child Protection, as well as representatives of international organizations, donor agencies, real estate development companies, representatives of the BTN Bank, and a range of national and international civil society and grass root organizations. I take this opportunity to thank everyone for the open exchanges.
During my stay I visited communities in Jakarta, Makassar, Surabaya and Yogyakarta. I am especially grateful to all those who shared their personal and sometimes tragic, experiences as well as their active and vibrant engagements on housing issues.
Today I will limit myself to a few preliminary and provisional remarks on some of the issues that, along with others, will be explored in more detail in my final report, to be presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council in March 2014.
As you may know, I have been appointed as an Independent Expert by the United Nations Human Rights Council to monitor and promote the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing worldwide. I am therefore independent from the United Nations and from any other State, Government or institution. The views that I will share with you are therefore solely based on an expert assessment and on the observations and analysis that I have been able to make on the housing situation in Indonesia through the lenses of the right to adequate housing, as it is defined by international human rights law.
In the last decade Indonesia has enjoyed steady economic growth and demonstrated substantial gains in social indicators with gradual declines in poverty in both urban and rural areas and is now classified as middle income country. Despite these impressive achievements, about 28.6 million people (11.6%) of all households still live below the national poverty line set at 1.25USD per day (BPS 2012). In addition, a significant part of the population (38%) lives below 1.5 times the poverty line and is extremely vulnerable to falling into poverty due to shocks. In the last three years, a quarter of all Indonesians have been in poverty at least once.
By 2025 the projections are that Indonesia’s urban population will reach 220 million people. The number of urban poor is expected to increase as the country urbanizes from its current level of 50% to a projected 70% urbanization rate by 2030.
The urban poor are concentrated in highly urbanized and densely populated Java, accounting for more than two thirds (67.6%) of the country’s poor population. Internal migration from rural to urban areas is caused by the concentration of economic activity in urban centres, and particularly in Jakarta as well as by development in rural areas which is competing for land and natural resources with traditional economic activities. Although economic decentralization is part of the Government general economic development agenda, the inertia of the historical concentration of economic opportunities in Java, and particularly in Jakarta is still posing challenges on the two main layers of housing policies - the improvement and upgrading of existing housing conditions of the majority of households in urban and rural areas; and the provision of adequate housing opportunities for future growth. The combination of rapid urbanization, population density and high poverty rates poses serious challenges to the realization of the right to adequate housing for all in Indonesia. These challenges are compounded by the fact that majority of Indonesia’s territory is extremely vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters, particularly flooding, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.
As a party to the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Indonesia has the obligation to ensure the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing, while ensuring non-discrimination on any grounds. The right to adequate housing should not be interpreted in a narrow or restrictive sense such as merely having a roof over one’s head; it includes guaranteeing: (a) legal security of tenure; (b) availability of services, materials, facilities and infrastructure; (c) affordability; (d) habitability; (e) accessibility; (f) location; and (g) cultural adequacy.
Indonesia’s Constitution and additional legislation guarantee the right to adequate housing and the Government of Indonesia has expressed its commitment to its progressive realization in the National Long Term Development Plan. These are laudable commitments by the Government of the Republic of Indonesia towards the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing in the country.
1. Present housing conditions
In 2010 there were 7.9 million units of substandard houses. According to official data only 36% of Indonesia’s total urban population currently has access to piped water, and only seven cities have sewerage systems. Furthermore, less than 10% of the overall population of these seven cities is connected to sewerage facilities. As for solid waste, only about 50%–60% of the total amount produced is collected by municipal waste collection services.
Behind these figures lies a complex reality, which includes different categories of inadequacies in housing, from villages in the rural areas, to urban kampongs - self built legal and illegal settlements. However, there is no data or real official assessment available reflecting the complexity of housing conditions, which includes: security of tenure, habitability, access to services and infrastructure and affordability.
2. Self-help housing and the kampong
According to official estimates, 80% of housing development in Indonesia has been constructed through informal household based systems including self-help housing and only less than 20% has been built through formal system. The “self-regulated” informal housing has helped the state externalize the cost of providing low-cost housing.
An important part of these informal settlements is the urban kampong, an indigenous urban settlement mostly inhabited by lower middle class and poor people, a mixed use highly densely populated area, for working and living. Housing conditions in the kampongs vary, as over time some kampongs were connected to city facilities like piped water, roads and drainage systems. In general kampongs are characterized by poor-quality housing, lack of secure tenure, and lack of access to water, sanitation, drainage, and flood-control facilities, as well as by ambiguously defined legal status.
During my mission I have visited several kampongs in Jakarta, Makassar, Surabaya and Yogyakarta and was deeply impressed by the strength of the community life in these “urban villages”. The inner city kampong is an intrinsic part of urban Indonesian history and has been essential to providing low-income housing and contributing to economic city growth and to the labor market. Kampongs are central to the cultural and social fabric of the Indonesian society.
Although the administrative and legal insertion of these settlements vary from city to city, as some are recognized in city plans and others are not, one portion of these settlements are consensually described as illegal. I am referring to the settlements located along riverbanks, canals, or railways, often in flood prone zones, in contradiction to local and national spatial plans, rendering them completely “invisible” in city plans, “illegal” and vulnerable to evictions as well as hazards. All levels of Government refrain from implementing housing policies and programs in these settlements and rarely invest in facilities and infrastructure. As a result, living conditions in these settlements are clearly worse than in other types of kampongs. These settlements clearly house the poorest among the urban poor, including internal migrants without regional ID cards. The common policy towards these settlements throughout the country is clearance, in some cases followed by relocation to low cost rental apartments (Rusunuwa). However there is some ambiguity and tolerance in practice, given the limited capacity of local Government to provide alternatives. As a result, these settlements tend to be evicted when a development project requires the land and the local Government is called to facilitate the project. I will refer to this issue later.
I am concerned that as urban land becomes scarce and urban land prices skyrocket (particularly in Jabodetabek), the inner city kampongs face the threat of powerful economic forces. Retail and commercial buildings surround kampongs but municipalities rarely include or prioritize the kampongs in their development plans. The labeling of the kampong as “”slum” can lead to misconceptions and reflects a misunderstanding of its part in Indonesian city fabric. This terminology increases the insecurity and ambiguity of these settlements, opening ground not only to development based evictions but also increasing their exposure to market pressures. I call on the national and local Government to ensure that the kampongs are not only upgraded and serviced but also integrated into city planning and protected from market displacements.
During my mission I have heard several times that there is no room for the poor in the city because of the high costs of land and housing. The right to adequate housing is a universal and does not belong only to the rich. Rather, it is the state obligation to prioritize vulnerable and marginalized groups. When I read the history of Jakarta and other Indonesian cities and I meet with the people in the streets it is clear that the kampongs and the low income laborers, the street vendors and the fish market workers have been there for decades and centuries before the sky scrapers and shopping malls. So when I hear that the “poor should know their place” – I say, yes, they should – and their place is in the city centre! State land should be allocated as a priority to low-income housing, including in the city centres.
The Government should also service these kampongs with adequate infrastructure and public services, including redevelopment when required. In cities like Surabaya and in community driven projects throughout the country (Tanah Tinggi in Jakarta and Strenkali and Boezem Morokrembagan in Surabaya) I visited the implementation of alternatives in this direction, which prove that this is not only desirable but also feasible.
An important aspect in securing the existence of the kampong is ensuring a strong degree of security of tenure. I have met with communities that have invested efforts and resources in the upgrading of their kampong but still do not have land certificates or other form of tenure security.
3. Current housing policies
a) Slum upgrading
Indonesia has a long history of programs of slum improvement, dating back to the 1960s. The Kampong Improvement Program (KIP), which started in 1969 in Jakarta is considered one of the most important and successful slum upgrading projects in the world.
However, in recent years relatively few other programs and resources have been directed at slum improvement, and if so, they have been of a more limited scale. There are several upgrading programs, some focusing on housing rehabilitation (such as BSPS - Bantuan Stimulan Perumahan Swadaya, Support for Self-help Housing Stimulus, operated by the MOH), others focusing on both infrastructure and housing (such as the Neighbourhood Upgrading and Shelter Sector Project (NUSSP), implemented from 2005-2010 in 32 cities by the Ministry of Public Housing and the PNPM-Urban Program, operated by the Ministry of Public Works). All these programs involve the cooperation of central and local Government, the communities themselves and in some cases – public private partnerships.
Although these programs have relative positive and successful outcomes, I am concerned with the fragmentation of the different programs between various agencies and with the inefficiency of the existing coordination mechanisms. I recommend that the Government reinstates a national comprehensive and holistic slum upgrading program, adequately coordinated, funded and monitored.
b) Other programs - affordable rental housing and housing finance
One of the main programs the Government is currently implementing for low income households is the affordable rental housing which supplies rental apartments at a subsidized low rent, (Rusunawa). The program is implemented by several Government agencies (including local Government, the Ministry of housing and the state agency Perumnas) and has two target groups – informal settlements that were relocated and Government employees or students.
The concept of using different housing strategies - slum upgrading, financing ownership and rental schemes - is very positive, reflecting the different needs and financial possibilities of the various segments of society. I welcome this approach. However, this program has to date only been implemented at an insufficient scale (between 2010 and 2013 – 3800 units were built by the Ministry of Housing, and the ones built by other national or provincial agencies are also modest). This is especially if we consider that only in Jakarta one of the target groups for these apartments (families to be relocated from river banks) amount to tens of thousands of people (according to information provided to me during the mission, along the Ciliwung river there are 40,000 people) while there are only 5,600 units of low cost rental apartments (some of them already occupied).
Some challenges related to Rusunawa deserve attention. One relates to the difficulties in providing maintenance for these apartment blocks. Subsidized rental schemes can only succeed in the long term when Governmental budget is available to also subsidize managing agencies.
Although some local Governments (Surabaya) are subsidizing the maintenance, this is not a national policy. A second concern refers to reported cases of non-transparent selection of beneficiaries. Another crucial issue with regard to the Rusunawa program is the location. According to information I received and my own impression during the visit, there is currently a long waiting list for apartment towers which are located in good locations (close to employment opportunities and public services, and in the case of relocated communities- close to the original habitation site) coupled with low occupancy rates for buildings which are located in remote areas.
But my major concern is that slum upgrading and affordable housing schemes like Rusunawa are now taking “the back seat” in terms of budget allocation as compared to programs that aim to improve access to financing for the middle income class homeownership. According to the Ministry of National Development Planning the biggest current investment in housing is the tax subsidies for developers and down payment and interest subsidies for the buyers (the 2010 Facility of Liquidity for Housing Finance Program- Fasilitas Likuiditas Pembiayaan Perumahan – FLPP). However, the FLPP targets only those with a relatively stable income, working in the formal market, while excluding the self-employed workers in the informal sector (which represents 60% of the work force) and workers with unstable incomes that could not constitute marketable mortgage-backed securities. Although the low income households and the informal workers are excluded from the FLPP, they cannot escape its effects – the increase in demand for land and housing and the escalating land and housing prices.
Another concern is that Government housing functions are scattered throughout different ministries, agencies and state owned enterprises, hampering coherent policy design and implementation. In addition, the decentralization process has transferred some of the responsibility for housing provision to the local Government. However, this has not been supported by an enhanced institutional and financial capacity in the provinces and districts. I have been alerted of many problems in the inter-institutional coordination both at the central and local levels.
The limited availability of urban land is one of the main restraints on the housing sector in Indonesia, affecting the availability and affordability of housing for the poorest segments of the society. The situation has become more severe in the last 15 years as private developers dominate urban development in Indonesia. More recently real state became one the most important commodity traded in the stock exchange market (information provided by BTN Bank). The commercialization of urban land is widespread followed by uncontrolled land speculation and land monopolization which contributes to skyrocketing prices, particularly in the main urban centres, reducing land affordability for lower income households. Only less than 7% of the housing produce for the housing market cost less than 700 million Rupiah (70.000 US). With around 4000-6000 USD per year as average income per capita of the urban population, the majority of them simply cannot afford to buy a house from the property market. Most houses produced by the real estate corporations are targeted for speculative investments by the upper 10% of urban population. A study by the Center of Metropolitan of Tarumanagara University reports that in Jabodetabek in the last decade more than 30 large scale real estate projects which occupy more than 30.000 hectares of land had accommodated only 7% of the total population growth of the period (approximately 10 million).
The Government has put in place several development regulations to promote adequate distribution of land development to low income groups, such as the “1:2:3 policy” (mandating that each development project should maintain a proportion of: one high income unit, 2 middle income units and 3 low income units). A similar policy mandates that 20% of land in each horizontal housing development project should be allocated to low income units. However I have been informed both by Government officials and civil society that these regulations are not being implemented by developers and there is no effective monitoring and enforcement. I was encouraged to hear that both the Ministry of Housing and the Governor of Jakarta are considering new measures to strengthen the enforcement of these regulations.
Despite this bottle neck, a very limited portion of State land still available in Indonesian cities is allocated to low income housing, either to support new housing alternatives for the poor or to acknowledge or recognize existing settlements and thus providing them with security of tenure and improving living conditions.
A complex unresolved and exclusionary land tenure system exists in Indonesia. According to BPN (the National Land Agency) non forest land comprises approximately 89 million land parcels and only 30% of this land is formally titled. The Basic Agrarian Law of 1960 is the main legislation regulating land management and registration. Although Article 56 of the Basic Agrarian Law recognizes the continuing validity of rights derived from adat, or customary law, the right-holder cannot register the right or have it fully recognized by the state until he or she purchases a certification from the National Land Agency (BPN) confirming that the land is not state land. The parallel sets of customary adat laws and state law in Indonesia cause confusion, land conflicts, problems for adat communities, evictions and forest destruction. Moreover, Hak ulayat (which can be translated as “a communal right of allocation”) cannot be registered. This deters communities from applying collectively for land certificates. Exorbitant land registration costs also exclude large portions of Indonesia’s population from the official registration system.
Due to the decentralization process, district and municipal Governments are now empowered to manage land and to determine resource use and spatial planning as well as to manage revenues and budgets. I have been informed that in many cases developers acquire permits for plantation, mining or development activities from local Governments, without the knowledge of the residents actually living on the land and sometimes in contradiction to spatial plan or zoning regulations. Clashes between communities on one side and local Government, the Ministries of Forestry and the Ministry of Mining and private plantation companies on the other are a common and troubling phenomena. In this context I welcome recent decisions of the Constitutional Court granting recognition of customary rights of forest land and coastal area to communities traditionally living there.
Conflicts over land are widespread in Indonesia and prevent registration and tenure security. According to one study, 65 percent of administrative court cases involve land disputes. The Ministry of Law and HR (2/3 of complaints) and the Ombudsman (one of the top 5) also informed me that complaints on issues related to land are on the top of their list.
There is no single authority in charge of resolving land disputes and both formal and informal arrangements are in place to address land related conflicts. Four different institutions possess parallel and overlapping competences: the civil court; the criminal court; the administrative courts; and a dispute settlement forum established by BPN to handle disputes relating to land misadministration and errors in land registration or titling. Litigation of land disputes is time consuming and often prohibitively expensive for the poor, particularly in the absence of quality free legal aid for low income households and the absence of a transparent and accessible land information system.
The combination of fast development, complex and exclusionary tenure system and the ambiguous presence of informal settlements in urban centers have precipitating the widespread practice of forced evictions and forced resettlement all over the country, in contradiction to international human rights obligations and standards. During this visit I have heard numerous testimonies of communities that have been forcibly evicted from both rural and urban areas, by both private actors and various Government authorities. This is one of the main issues of concern I have encountered during my mission. Let me be absolutely clear - forced evictions are a gross violation of a wide range of internationally recognized human rights. The term forced evictions refers to any eviction that is not carried out in accordance with international law and standards, regardless of whether the evicted persons hold legal title to the land and regardless of whether the eviction took place with the use of force. This is the case even when the eviction is to serve legitimate public interests, such as preventing risks.
Mass forced evictions may only be carried out under exceptional circumstances and in full accordance with international human rights law, which includes the obligation to provide full information on the purpose of the evictions; legal remedies and legal aid to persons who are in need of seeking redress from courts. Evictions should not involve the use of force and should not result in individuals being rendered homeless. The State party must take all appropriate measures to ensure adequate compensation and/or adequate alternative housing or resettlement. The solution should be reached by meaningful consultation with the affected communities to ensure that relocation results in the improvement of their standard of living or at least does not result in its deterioration.
A myriad of national, provincial and municipal laws and regulations authorizes local Government to conduct evictions of settlements from privately owned land or from areas which are not intended to habitation according to the regional master plan. The majority of the communities I met have been living on land that has been designated for public use (green space, river banks, along rail tracks) and have been occupying this land for many years (in some cases more than 30 years). In several cases (such as the case of the settlement in Pluit reservoir in Jakarta) the communities have been living there with the tacit agreement of the municipality or the authorization of state owned companies (such is the case of the Duri Tambora community and the PT KAI railroad company). I am alarmed with the existing plan to relocate in the next 5 years 200,000 people living on the river banks and slum areas in Jakarta, particularly considering that alternative, adequate and durable solutions of relocation or compensation are currently not available.
Although these settlements are now branded as “illegal squatting”, this term is misleading, for the derogatory term obscures the fact that the occupation took place with permission and/or tolerance from the state. Most evictees I have met and spoken with considered that they had secured some form of tenure over the land from which they were evicted, after decades of occupation with no contestation (or encouragement) from public or private entities, and eventually receiving a variety of Government provided services, as well as after years of paying Government land taxes.
During my visit I have heard testimonies that in some instances evictees received no compensation at all. This is particularly the case for residents without ID cards or people living on land that is not designated for habitation - who are considered illegal. In other instances, residents complained that the compensation offered to them was insufficient to find adequate or comparable alternative housing and to restore their livelihoods.
As an alternative to monetary compensation, the State may provide appropriate and sufficient alternative accommodation or land, consistent with their wishes and needs of the affected community.
While Government policy with regard to settlements that have been “regularized” and have land certificates is to offer alternatives of compensation, alternative land or housing or in-situ upgrading, in the case of “illegal” slums, the Government refuses to consider compensation or in situ upgrading and provides only relocation options to low cost rental apartments in high rise buildings (Rusanawa). It is my impression that this solution is unsustainable for several reasons. Firstly, as I have already mentioned, the supply of low cost rental apartments is extremely limited. Secondly, in most cases I have seen, the low cost rental buildings are located far away from the evicted communities’ original location and employment opportunities.
The obligation of the non-discrimination is a fundamental principle of the international human rights law. State’s obligation to ensure the realization of the right to adequate housing extends to the obligation to protect individuals and communities from actions or omissions by third parties.
During my visit, I heard testimonies that some groups (such as LGBTs) encounter discrimination in accessing adequate housing from both state and non-state actors.
a) Internal migrants
Despite the fact that nearly one in every four urban residents has migrated from rural areas during his or her lifetime, many of them still do not have identity cards for their current residential location and do not receive any public services (such as education and health). Migrants are particularly vulnerable to the consequences of forced evictions. In the absence of ID cards, they are denied compensation or relocation. In many cases I have heard testimonies that the only solution offered to them is relocation back to their place of origin. However, this solution is not sustainable, given the concentration of economic and employment opportunities in urban centres, particularly in Java.
While it might be appropriate to establish minimum residency requirements for certain forms of assistance, it should not be done exclusively by way of showing a location-based ID card but residents should be allowed to establish residency through other forms of proof, and allowed to access compensation and assistance where they have suffered harm or loss through eviction.
b) Religious minorities
I was also concerned with some reports received during my visit about forced relocation of religious minorities (Shi’a and Ahmadiya communities) that have been instigated by mobs, at times accompanied or incited by radical Islamist groups. Homes, schools and places of worship have been burnt or destroyed in these attacks, forcing hundreds of families in different communities out of their homes into temporary shelters and accommodation without access to basic facilities, services, and security. I am concerned that authorities have failed to adequately protect these communities from forced evictions and acts of violence.
I call on the Government to ensure that displaced communities have immediate access to essential services such as food, clean drinking water and health services and to guarantee their safe return to their homes, providing them with the necessary assistance to rebuild their homes that were damaged or destroyed.
Although the 1974 Marriage Law stipulates that property purchased during marriage shall be co-owned by the spouse, women in Indonesia still face discriminatory practices with regard to property and inheritance rights based on customary and cultural practices in different regions. While women in Java are sometimes registered as co-owners, in other regions, such as Southeast Sulawesi and the islands of East Nusa Tenggara, women generally possess neither individual nor joint rights to land, deriving their rights through a husband or male relative. During my visit I have met with women from Sumba region which shared with me their difficulties in obtaining land certificates, despite the fact that they have been occupying the land for many years and have been regularly paying land taxes to local authorities.
I would also like to highlight another concern that was brought to my attention with regard to the inadequate provision of shelter solutions to victims of domestic violence. I will address this issue in more detail in my final report.
7. Post-disaster reconstruction
Indonesia has suffered several devastating natural disasters in the last decade which have caused extensive loss of lives but also severe destruction of housing and infrastructure of entire communities in various regions across the archipelago. From 2001 to 2010 there were 9,473 natural disasters, including earthquakes, tsunamis, and eruptions, and non-natural disasters caused by human activities such as floods, landslides and fires in cities and forests, several regions being hit by two or more natural disasters in less than 5 years.
Needless to say that in this context, the reconstruction and rehabilitation of communities affected by disaster pose a gigantic challenge for the Government, both in technical and budgetary terms. During my stay in the country I have visited communities in Sleman in Yogyakarta province, that have been affected by volcano eruption. I was able to assess the Community Based Settlement Rehabilitation Reconstruction Projects that are being implemented in those regions (REKOMPAK).
While I will address post disaster reconstruction policies in further detail in my final report, I would like to take this opportunity to express my extremely positive impression with the design and implementation of the REKOMPAK program. This model is by far the best post disaster reconstruction and rehabilitation program I have yet to assess worldwide. From a human rights perspective, the program is responsive, cost effective, community driven, and provides durable and sustainable solutions. The rehabilitation alternatives are tailored with the full participation of the affected communities, in accordance to the regional characteristics and social culture. Of course difficulties in implementation and sustainability of the program persist, such as the right of communities to receive State support (both in terms of risk management and in situ rehabilitation) even in cases in which they refuse to relocate to a difference site, or for rental tenants that were affected by the disaster. The flexibility of the program can be used to address these complexities.
What I found particularly striking and inspiring is that this policy harnesses one of the major assets of this country – the strength of communities and the tradition of social cohesion and self-organization of communities. This asset could and should be mobilized in other National Housing policies and in planning processes at all levels.
While my final report (that will be presented to the Human Rights Council in March 2014) will include detailed recommendations on these issues, I would like to take this opportunity to provide some initial recommendations for the immediate consideration of the Government and other relevant stakeholders.
The coming years present a window of opportunity for the Government to proactively manage the urbanization and development processes in order to ensure inclusive growth and poverty reduction. Policies and programs should encourage efficient urban spatial structures for all, sustainable land use planning, investments in critical infrastructure, and the provision of basic services including for those in informal settlements.
To this end, I recommend that the Government adopts a National Housing Development Strategy to be designed with effective public participation and based on updated, crosscutting and disaggregated data on housing situation and needs. One of the main tasks of the Strategy will be to further clarify and facilitate the responsibility of and coordination between the various Government Ministries, provincial and local Governments and other stakeholders involved in the housing and land sectors while finalizing the implementation of the decentralization process, and providing local Governments with the necessary resources to carry out their responsibilities.
The strong Indonesian legacy of community organization and participation should not be limited to the tetangga or warga level. The Government should ensure meaningful and on-going participation of the public in the design, implementation and monitoring of housing and land policies and programs, both at the national and local level, including budget allocation and spatial planning.
It is not possible to have a housing policy without a land policy and the land policy should protect the interests of the poor that have no purchasing power in the market. Urban spatial plans and land use regulations should be designed to ensure an inclusionary and diversified urban environment. Land management policies should regulate markets to refrain speculation and monopolies.
State land as well as land owned by State companies’ plays a crucial role in ensuring the social functions of cities and villages. I therefore recommend that the Government reviews current State land holdings and compare them to existing and projected needs for land. The State should consider allocating land to low income housing as well as recognizing the tenure rights of existing settlements.
The Government of Indonesia should bring its national and municipal legislation and regulations regarding evictions and land acquisition in line with international human rights law and standards.
I recommend the Government considers reforming existing regulations on land title and registration in order to simplify the process, reduce the costs to individuals, permit collective and communal rights, provide flexible requirements on the forms of title evidence required, increase efficiency, and diminish delays.
Let me end by stressing my impression that the Government of the Republic of Indonesia is committed to promoting access to adequate housing and I hope that my visit and subsequent report will be able to assist the Government in directing these efforts towards the poor and other vulnerable segments of society. I am looking forward to continuing the constructive dialogue established during my visit.
I thank you for your attention and I look forward to your questions.
Jakarta, 11 June 2013