The need for protection in Indonesia
In 2005, Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement achieved a groundbreaking peace agreement, granting Aceh political autonomy and signifying an end to nearly three decades of armed conflict in the region. The Aceh Truth and Reconciliation Commission has already accomplished a number of initiatives in terms of documenting abuses committed in the civil war, but it has also encountered some delays. Although the peace deal was realized 18 years ago, the province is still confronted with systemic and conflict-related violence, specifically violence against women, girls, and boys.
Large-scale conflict in Indonesia largely disappeared after 2005 with the peace agreement, but violence between the government and separatist movements continues. Particularly, the more than a half-century-long conflict in West Papua continues between Indonesia and the Free Papua Movement, or the Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM).
NP’s work in Indonesia
Our work in Indonesia began in 2020 by connecting women of West Papua to the ASEAN Women Peace Registry and by working with local groups and religious organizations on unarmed civilian protection. These connections grew into a research project exploring local, civilian-led protection initiatives in West Papua.
In 2021, NP started collaborating with two Indonesian universities: the University of Malikul Saleh and the University of Al Muslim. Through research on civilian protection and civilian engagement in the peace processes, the Aceh community began identifying ways that NP could offer support.
At the end of 2022, NP launched a new program, together with six Acehnese organizations. Through this project, NP:
- Works with local organizations to support Aceh’s truth and reconciliation processes and to advocate for victims and their families;
- Alongside women-led service organizations, promotes and protects women’s and children’s rights, prevents sexual and gender-based violence, and strengthens women peacebuilders; and
- Provides training and support to local organizations involved in the Aceh peace process.
The future of NP’s work in Indonesia
NP in Indonesia will protect displaced communities from threats of direct physical violence in emergency situations, as well as strengthen community resilience. Working with local partners, we will increase meaningful participation and representation of women and youth in local violence prevention initiatives. In support of Aceh’s truth and reconciliation process, NP will be supporting the reintegration of individuals formerly involved in atrocities and violence, peacebuilding among between displaced populations and host communities, and strengthening our local partners’ working with Aceh’s truth-seeking body. For a true paradigm shift towards peace in Indonesia, NP will be continuing our research and advocacy work, as well as connecting our partners with other groups in the ASEAN region.