Civil Liberties

The press in Indonesia does not enjoy full freedom to report. The letter of the law does provide for freedom of expression in the media, but occasionally the government has stepped in to curtail criticism. For example, in 2006, 3 people wore arrested for showing off their separatist flags. Journalists in particular are focused on as targets for repression. The Alliance of Independent Journalists put forth at report that in 2006, 53 acts of violence were perpetrated on journalists, resulting in one death. Government officials were allegedly responsible for seven. However, these incidents have not stopped the press’ outspoken reporting on issues such as corruption.

Censorship is fairly common in relation to cinema. The Film Censorship Institute censors movies which are considered too pornographic or “religiously offensive” to the majority Muslim population.

“The constitution provides for “all persons the right to worship according to his or her own religion or belief” and states that “the nation is based upon belief in one supreme God.” The government on the whole respects the tenets set forth in their constitution. However, religions which aren’t among the five recognized by the government (Islam, Protestantism, Catholocism, Hinduism, and Buddhism) are subject to discrimination in civil practices such as marriage.

In Aceh, a predominantly Muslim, and somewhat independent, province, Sharia Law courts have been set up which punish adherents of the faith who carry out “immoral behavior.” In 2006, 15 people were caned for violations such as alcohol consumption and extramarital relations.

Education System

According to the Indonesian Constitution,

“Every citizen shall have the right to obtain education and the government shall establish and conduct a national education system which shall be regulated by the state. Struggling under the shift of political system and economic structure, and the shift from centralized concentration of power development to decentralization, the government of Indonesia through the Ministry of National Education has done efforts to maintain the existing education development achievement, to prepare high quality of human resources, and to make some adjustment toward the national education system in line with the implementation of decentralization.”

Education in Indonesia is divided into Early Childhood, Sekolah Dasar (SD) or Elementary School, Sekolah Menengah Pertama (SMP) or Middle School, and High School. Education is only compulsory through the end of middle school, resulting in the lack of people who go on to get a high school education. There are over 22,000 SMP schools, but less than 9,000 High Schools.

Government Granted “Rights of Age”

Government Granted “Rights of Age”

  • Right to Vote
  • Right to Drink Alcohol
  • Right to Birth Control
  • Age of Consensual Sex
  • Conscription

Indonesians can vote at the age of 17.

Indonesians can drink when they turn 18 years old.

Birth control is legal and easily available.

The age of consent for sexual activity is 19 for a male, and 16 for a woman.  For marriage, males have to be 18 and females 15.

The CIA says that Indonesia employs a policy wherein “18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation – 2 years (2002).”






One comment

  1. On Wilkipedia, it is stated that the civil majority in Indonesia is 18.

    So please could you let me what is the official age in Indonesia for “civil” majority?

    Thanks and Regards

    Edmond Merdy

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