Talking Indonesia: indigenous peoples’ rights

Indonesia’s indigenous peoples are often denied their claims to land. The government has historically claimed most of Indonesia’s forests, along with the power to issue land use licences to logging and plantation companies, leading to frequent conflict with local communities. Indigenous peoples also face challenges in accessing education, preserving their culture and practising their traditional religions.


What lies at the root of these problems? How can the situation be changed, and what regional differences have to be taken into account? How has the government responded to recommendations from the National Commission of Human Rights (Komnas HAM)?


In this edition of Talking Indonesia, I discuss these issues and more with Sandra Moniaga, a commissioner at Komnas HAM and coordinator of a recent national inquiry into indigenous peoples’ rights to land.


Talking Indonesia is a fortnightly podcast presenting extended interviews with experts on Indonesian politics, foreign policy, language, culture and more. Catch up on previous episodes here, subscribe via iTunes or listen to the entire Talking Indonesia podcast via Stitcher.


Photo by Tim Mann.


Dr Ken Setiawan is a Lecturer in Asian and Indonesian Studies at the Asia Institute. She is also an Associate of the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society (CILIS) at Melbourne Law School.