Human Rights Concerns in West Papua

The Pacific Elders’ Voice is deeply concerned about reports of human rights abuse in West Papua.

According to reports from reliable sources, the human rights situation in the last few years has significantly deteriorated. These reports suggest an increased number of extra judicial executions, enforced disappearances and the internal displacement of Melanesian Papuans.

The Pacific Elders recall the Pacific Island Forum Leaders’ Communique made in Tuvalu in 2019 which welcomed the invitation by Indonesia for a mission to West Papua by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Communique strongly encouraged both sides to finalise the timing of the visit and for an evidence-based, informed report on the situation be provided before next Pacific Island Forum Leaders meeting in 2020.

Despite such undertaking, we understand that the Indonesian Government has not allowed UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit West Papua. We find this unacceptable and believe that such behaviour can only exacerbate the tensions in the region. Indonesia must take responsibility for its actions and abuses and make amends for the harm that has been caused to the Indigenous population of West Papua.

The Pacific Elders urgently calls for the Indonesia Government to allow the UN High Commission for Human Rights to visit West Papua and to prepare a report for the Human Rights Council.

We call on all members of the Human Rights Council to pass a resolution condemning the current human rights abuses in West Papua. We further call on the Human Rights Council to clearly identify the human rights abuses in Indonesia’s Universal Periodic Review and to identify clear steps to rectify the abuses that are taking place.

We further note that the next G20 Heads of State and Government Summit will take place in November in Bali. We call on all G20 member countries to ensure that a visit by the UN High Commission for Human Rights is allowed to take place before this meeting and that the HCHR is able to prepare a report on her findings for consideration by the G20.

We believe that no G20 Head of State and Government should attend the meeting without a clear understanding of the human rights situation in West Papua.

This is a collective statement from Pacific Elders’ Voice. For further information, please contact us.

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