DAA News Network

Indonesia: Government access programme doesn’t deliver

Posted 16/6-10 at 12.06

Ten years after the government promised to increase public facilities for disabled people very little has been achieved. In June, disabled activists gathered in Jakarta both to celebrate and lament the National Public Accessibility Movement (GAUN).

Agum Gurmelar, the former transport minister who first launched GAUN, said it was sad that ‘"Only a fraction of [GAUN's] goals have been achieved." He also claimed that it and several of the country's laws that are supposed to protect disabled people's rights were little more than token gestures and in practical terms little had been or was being done.


Editorial comment: The situation in Indonesia is all too common in many countries. Getting rights legislation and agreements, whether national or international, is only a first step. As many of us know, the real battle comes when we have to fight to get the ‘nice' words off the paper and into real world. Even when this has happened, we mustn't assume that our human rights victories will not be overturned. This is especially true now, when governments may find it convenient to argue that in light of the global economic crisis, human rights for disabled people are an expensive and, therefore, a dispensable luxury.


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