Though they may be geographically poles apart, Indonesia and Sweden are coming closer in at least one area: the promotion of human rights.
“Both countries are committed to continuing the capacity building programs already in progress, as well as to implement a number of new programs for the following year,” the Indonesian Embassy in Stockholm said in a press release on Sunday after the completion of the second Human Rights Dialogue between the two countries last week. The first dialogue was held in Jakarta last year.
The embassy said the dialogue was co-chaired by Jan Axel Nordlander, Sweden’s Ambassador for Human Rights, and Professor Harkristuti Hakrisnowo, director general for human rights at the Indonesian Justice and Human Rights Ministry. Indonesian Ambassador to Sweden Linggawaty Hakim and other delegates from both governments as well as NGOs were also present at the meeting.
Both countries have agreed to set up a master’s program in human rights at the University of Indonesia with the help of Sweden’s Raoul Wallenberg Institute. They will establish a working group to conduct a study on the rights of persons with disabilities. They will design programs on restorative justice for children, women’s rights and human rights education. A human rights activist welcomed the human rights dialogue between Indonesia and Sweden.
“It’s a good and concrete step. We need this of kind of cooperation with countries like Sweden to promote human rights in Indonesia,” said Anton Prajasto from the NGO DEMOS.
“I’m very glad to hear that Sweden will be helping Indonesia start a master’s program in human rights at the University of Indonesia.”