Pause the Licensing Process of Wabu Block, Prioritize Papuan Indigenous Rights!


The land rights of our Indigenous Papuan friends are threatened yet again!

The Indonesian government plans to develop mining activities in an area that has become a hotspot for abuses by government security forces.

Between 2020 and 2021, at least 12 Indigenous Papuans in the Intan Jaya regency have been victims of unlawful killings carried out by Indonesian security forces. Most of the Indigenous Papuans are also living under pressure where their rights are being repressed. And yet, far from providing a sense of security and access to justice, the government is instead planning to dig a gold mine in the conflict-ridden area!

Within the Sugapa district of the Intan Jaya regency lies one of the biggest gold ore reserves in Indonesia, known as Wabu Block. In September 2020, the Government of the Republic of Indonesia expressed its interest in exploring the location. While the area of the Wabu Block mining concession has not yet been officially declared, Amnesty obtained an official document that detailed the proposed area of mining concession (Wilayah Izin Usaha Pertambangan Khusus, WIUPK) in Wabu Block.

How can gold mining plans in Wabu Block move forward without consideration for the rights of Indigenous Papuans in the region, particularly without their free, prior, and informed consent?

Mining plans in Wabu Block pose significant risks to the human rights of Indigenous Papuans, already threatened by insecurity and repression.

Indonesia has legally recognized, respected and vows to protect the rights of Indigenous peoples, including their rights to their lands and territories. Unfortunately, the voices of the Indigenous Papuans are increasingly ignored, even though they will be aversely affected by the risk of environmental damage and the loss of their livelihood due to the proposed mining activities in the Wabu Block. 

We need your help in urging the government to prioritize the human rights of Indigenous Papuans!

We call on the government to:

  • Pause the licensing process of Wabu Block until consulting the affected Indigenous Papuans, and obtaining their free, prior, and informed consent to the mining plans;
  • Given the current insecurity, carry out what is known as a “consultation on the consultation” to ascertain whether a full and effective consultation on the proposal of mining in Wabu Block is feasible and desirable, and if so, how such consultation would be carried out;
  • In case a “consultation on the consultation” does not take place (for example, because it is not feasible under the current circumstances of insecurity), ensure that conditions in Intan Jaya regency are safe and peaceful before engaging in a meaningful and effective consultation process with Indigenous Papuans to obtain their free, prior, and informed consent about mining in Wabu Block;
  • Prevent any human rights violations occurring as a result of the presence of Indonesian security forces and ensure that military activities do not take place on lands of Indigenous Papuans, unless justified by the public interest or otherwise freely agreed with or requested by them. Investigate reports of human rights violations carried out by members of security forces and hold perpetrators accountable.

You can have your voice heard too! Join us in sending a letter to the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, demanding him and the government to prioritize, respect, and fulfil the human rights of Indigenous Papuans and to end all forms of violence, repression and conflict.


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