Strengthening Komnas HAM and Building Synergies with Other National State Institutions on Human Rights

  • Inosentius Samsul


Indonesia is the only country in Southeast Asia that has three National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), which are the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), the National Commission on Women (Komnas Perempuan), and the National Commission on Child Protection (KPAI). Komnas Perempuan and KPAI has different positions with regard to Komnas HAM. Although the name is the National Commission; however, these Commissions have been unable to improve the protection and enforcement of human rights in Indonesia. Komnas HAM has “more power” “in terms of position as an independent institution as the National Human Rights Institution” (NHRIs).

The main research question is how the role of Komnas HAM differentiates from that of the Komnas Perempuan and KPAI based on their authority, position, function and coordination. How is the relationship and division of tasks and functions between these Commissions and other government agencies such as the witness and victim protection agency, the ministry of law and human rights, and the ministry foreign affairs? What is the support needed by Komnas HAM to be able to carry out its duties and authorities as the leading National Human Rights Institution.

This chapter examines the construction of institutions and powers of the National Human Rights Commission is no longer appropriate to the dynamics of the human rights problems in Indonesia. The role of the human rights commissions has decreased compared to the role in the pre-reform era in Indonesia. There is no clear division between the authority of the National Commission of Women and Child Protection Commission. There is no one common understanding of the division of tasks and roles of government agencies with the Commissions.

Komnas HAM as the leading institution out of the three Indonesian human rights institutions still faces various obstacles in implementing its functions and tasks. Komnas HAM’s human resources are not proportional to the workload and the demands and expectations of the people to get excellent service. In addition, to run its mandate, the budget given to Komnas HAM is still limited. Komnas HAM cannot perform its functions and duties optimally.

The main recommendation from this chapter is to reformulate the authorities of the three Commissions to make them more powerful in coordination between them and enlisting support from the other government institutions. The financial support, as well as decentralization policy through the addition of representative offices in the region, is needed. The strengthening of the number and quality of human resources is also needed.


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© Asia Centre 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Inosentius Samsul
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of LawUniversity of IndonesiaDepokIndonesia

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