House should ratify Elimination of Sexual Violence Bill: Government

House should ratify Elimination of Sexual Violence Bill: Government

Main Expert of Deputy II KSP Brian Sriprahastuti in KSP (middle) during the Presidental Staff Office Hearing (KSP Mendengar) to discuss about Violence Towards Children and Women in Banda Aceh. (ANTARA/HO-KSP)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Government urges the House of Representatives to pass the Draft Bill on the Elimination of Sexual Violence into law.

"We are also coordinating with the Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry to follow up on the ratification of the Elimination of Sexual Violence Bill in the House of Representatives," main expert of Deputy II KSP Brian Sriprahastuti  said.

She made the statement during the KSP listening activity with community organizations, NGOs, youth organizations, and elements of civil institutions, among others, in Banda Aceh City, according to a written statement received in Jakarta on Monday.

The Draft Bill on the Elimination of Sexual Violence was proposed in 2016 to the House of Representatives. However, discussions are still underway regarding the draft in the parliament. The Presidential Staff Office's press release highlighted the ongoing struggle for votes and unequal power in the House of Representatives regarding the Elimination of Sexual Violence Bill.

The Presidential Staff Office initiated the formation of a cross-ministerial or institutional task force to push for the bill's ratification by the House of Representatives at the earliest.

"This task force comprised the Presidential Staff Office, Law and Human Rights Ministry, Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry, Attorney General's Office, and the National Police. Their duty is to oversee political performance, substance aspects, and media communication," Sriprahastuti noted.

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According to the Presidential Staff Office's press release, during the Presidential Staff Office's hearing (KSP Mendengar), an activist involved in handling women's issues from Aceh, Suraiya Kamaruzzaman, highlighted that a legal dualism, so far, existed in Aceh, between Qonun Jinayat and the Indonesian law. In the cases of sexual violence against children, the dualism of the law causes discrimination against the victim, Kamaruzzaman stated.

"(My) hope is that the Presidential Staff Office would ensure that all discriminatory policies in Aceh would be removed. There must be synchronization between central and regional regulations and policies," she opined.

She cited as an example that perpetrators of child abuse could be acquitted by the Sharia Court in Aceh Besar. This occurred despite the fact that statistics indicated that one or two children and women become victims every day, she revealed.

She was disappointed over the low quality of local government services for sexual violence victims.

"Good service only exists in the Aceh provincial government and Banda Aceh City. The regulations made by the district and city governments are mostly discriminatory against women," Kamaruzzaman added. 

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