The human rights of Indigenous peoples of Papua are at risk with the Indonesian government’s plans to mine gold in Wabu Block, Intan Jaya regency.

Since late 2019, the increased presence of Indonesian security in Intan Jaya has led the area to become a hotspot for abuses by government security forces. Crackdowns on the freedom of expression, assembly, and other forms of abuses have continued with impunity. At least 12 Indigenous Papuans in the region have been victims of unlawful killings, leaving many residents with no option but to flee their houses and villages in search of safety in other cities and the forest.

Despite having the obligations to respect and protect Indigenous people’s rights, Indonesian authorities maintain a blind eye toward its duties, among which is to ensure that Papuans are effectively and meaningfully consulted in the policymaking that will affect them, including their rights to customary land, territories, economic and cultural rights.

A number of Indigenous Papuans have told Amnesty they oppose the mining plans for Wabu Block due to its potential to harm both the environment and local communities. They described using the proposed mining area for cultivating crops, hunting animals, and collecting timber.

The Indonesian authorities are obliged to consult with the affected Indigenous people in order to obtain their free, prior, and informed consent. Indigenous people have the right to give, or withhold, their consent based on prior information, voluntarily, and without coercion, to a project that may affect them or their territories.

Amnesty is concerned that if the mining plans go ahead amid the current tensions in the region, it will lead to more human rights violations. Call on the Indonesian authorities to prioritise and respect the rights of Indigenous Papuans.

Sign the Petition

  Our Petition

President of the Republic of Indonesia
Gedung Bina Graha
Jl. Veteran No. 16 Jakarta Pusat, 10110

Dear President Joko Widodo

I am very concerned about the gold mining plans in Wabu Block, Intan Jaya Regency, Papua Province.

Mining in Wabu Block area has the potential to exacerbate the human rights violations of Indigenous Papuans if their rights are not respected, not to mention the risk of environmental damage and the loss of their livelihoods that they may experience.

The violence, intimidation and murder that is occurring in the regency highlights the need for the state to act expediently, in accordance with the mandate of the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia which stipulates that the State has an obligation to guarantee and protect the human rights of its citizens, including the rights of Indigenous peoples to their lands and territories.

I urge you and the government to immediately:

  • Pause the licensing process of Wabu Block until consulting the affected Indigenous Papuans, and obtaining their free, prior, and informed consent to the mining plans;
  • Given the current insecurity, carry out what is known as a “consultation on the consultation” to ascertain whether a full and effective consultation on the proposal of mining in Wabu Block is feasible and desirable, and if so, how such consultation would be carried out;
  • In case a “consultation on the consultation” does not take place (for example, because it is not feasible under the current circumstances of insecurity), ensure that conditions in Intan Jaya regency are safe and peaceful before engaging in a meaningful and effective consultation process with Indigenous Papuans to obtain their free, prior, and informed consent about mining in Wabu Block;
  • Prevent any human rights violations occurring as a result of the presence of Indonesian security forces and ensure that military activities do not take place on lands of Indigenous Papuans, unless justified by the public interest or otherwise freely agreed with or requested by them. Investigate reports of human rights violations carried out by members of security forces and hold perpetrators accountable.

Yours sincerely