After the fall of Suharto in 1999, a renewed conflict erupted in Indonesia that resulted in the displacement and death of thousands. Despite the granting of special autonomy to the two provinces of Papua in 2001, violence continues to escalate in the region between security forces and local ethnic groups. In October 2011, the situation deteriorated even further when security forces opened fire on a people’s congress in Jayapura. The situation has also become dangerous in the provinces of Maluku and North Maluku, where religious violence broke out in September 2011 after more than a decade had passed since the religious conflict of 1999. As part of the larger peace movement in Papua, Yayasan Asian Justice and Rights (AJAR) joined other women’s organizations to produce a report documenting human rights violations committed against indigenous women and making recommendations for women coping with trauma. The recommendations included psychosocial counseling, weaving, community organizing and the documentation of women’s stories. Recognizing the opportunity to share their findings, AJAR requested funds to bring together women from both Papua and Maluku for two parallel workshops: one to be held for mothers/women human rights defenders to evaluate and re-strategize a plan for a gendered response to the conflict, learn about the methodologies that integrate healing, and document their stories; the other held for children with a focus on human rights and arts. The workshops will be followed by a series of meetings with women victims/refugees in Maluku and Papua, where AJAR will work to document women’s stories and facilitate a process for psychosocial support.
AJAR is a human rights organization that serves as a center for learning and dialogue in the area of human rights and conflict transformation, with a strong development approach.