Jakarta (ANTARA) - None of customary villages in Indonesia has officially been recognized by the central government as of August this year despite assurances of such recognition, Minister of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration, Abdul Halim Iskandar, has said.

"The Home Affairs Ministry until now has not issued any customary village certification for existing customary villages," Minister Iskandar told ANTARA in Jakarta on Wednesday.

According the status of an administrative village to that of customary village will allow the government to fulfill and regulate customary rights of villagers, he explained.

Recognition of customary villages has been regulated by municipal/district legislation, as dictated by Article 98 of Law No. 6/2014 on Villages, he noted.

He admitted one of the main factors impeding customary village recognition is ambiguity on village borders and customary law area jurisdiction because Law No. 6/2014 sets proof of the exact village border map as a precondition for applying for the recognition.

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"One criterion for customary village recognition is the certainty of customary boundaries, and customary law area jurisdiction," the minister said.

Failure to delineate customary village's boundary, and its customary law jurisdiction has been the result of limited implementation of customary laws within administrative villages, he explained.

He urged members of customary law communities to ascertain their villages' borders and the customary law jurisdiction before applying for recognition.

"If the legal community unit and its customary jurisdiction have clearly been delineated, the recognition of the customary villages can be facilitated," Iskandar pointed out.

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Translator: Putu Indah S, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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