Human rights

Down to Earth No 56  February 2003

With major new oil and gas developments planned for Sulawesi, there is growing concern about the likely impacts on local livelihoods, forests, rare wildlife and the fragile marine ecosystem.

Central Sulawesi is being billed as Indonesia's next big gas producer by Indonesian companies with exploration projects in the province. Indonesia's state-owned oil and gas company, Pertamina, and Exspan Tomori Sulawesi - a subsidiary of Medco (see box) - say the province has huge potential for natural gas exploitation.

Down to Earth No 56  February 2003

The severely damaging impacts of mining on women have been highlighted in a new report, launched by Oxfam Community Aid Abroad on November 25th, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Oxfam Community Aid's report, Tunnel Vision: Women, Mining and Communities, is a compilation of papers presented at a forum convened in Melbourne in June last year to explore the impacts of mining on women in local communities.

Down to Earth No 56  February 2003


The efforts of UK-based mining company Rio Tinto to convince the world of its commitment to human rights have suffered another blow. According to media reports, in December, the family of human rights defender and poet Wiji Thukul rejected a human rights award funded by the company. For the past two years, Rio Tinto has contributed funds to the Yap Thiam Hien Human Rights Award, won this year by Wiji Thukul, who has been missing since 1996.

Down to Earth No 56  February 2003


NGO to sue Singapore over sand imports

The Institute of Indonesian Forestry Studies, an organisation based in Riau province, is planning to charge Singapore with destroying the marine environment and mangrove forests as well as causing the disappearance of an island in Karimun subdistrict. The Institute's director, Andreas Herykahurifan, said the Riau administration must also bear responsibility because it had issued licences to sand-dredging companies.

Down to Earth No 55  November 2002


Australia's Aurora Gold has closed its notorious Kalimantan gold mine, but indigenous Dayaks want compensation for the negative impacts they have suffered.

On July 30th 2002, indigenous Siang, Murung and Bakumpai Dayak communities from Central Kalimantan filed a lawsuit at the South Jakarta state court, against PT Indo Muro Kencana (IMK), the gold mining company owned by Australia's Aurora Gold.

Down to Earth No 55  November 2002


Human rights abuses connected to the logging industry will increase in West Papua as more forests are destroyed and the Indonesian security forces continue their business activities in a climate of impunity.

In July 2002, West Papuan human rights group ELSHAM reported a series of logging-related human rights abuses committed between February and June 2002 by members of the Indonesian armed forces stationed in sub-districts around Jayapura.

Down to Earth No 55  November 2002


Human rights workers, witnesses, their families and friends are coming under intense pressure following the August 31st killings of three people near the Freeport/Rio Tinto mine in West Papua.

The three victims - one Indonesian and two Americans - were killed when gunmen opened fire on the school bus that was taking them back to the mining town of Tembagapura. Twelve others were reported injured in the attack.