Indonesia

This summary of Land Tenure and Property Rights (LTPR) issues in Indonesia is part of a series of LTPR Country Profiles produced for USAID. The profile includes information on property rights and tenure concerning land, forests, freshwater, and minerals, as well as an aggregation of LTPR-related indicators. Options and opportunities for intervention by USAID are presented at the end of the profile, along with an extensive list of references for additional information.

One of the more notable features of Indonesian Islamic law is its recognition of the concept of jointly owned marital property which bears a striking similarity to the community property system in California. In both systems the marital estate consists of property acquired during the marriage through the efforts of either of the spouses.
Islamic inheritance law has long been a source of controversy in Indonesia. The controversy has generally been framed in terms of a supposed conflict between Islamic inheritance doctrines and the customary law or adat of the country's many ethnic communities. This article argues that recent developments in Indonesian Islamic inheritance law have narrowed the differences between Islamic and customary approaches to the distribution of property on death.

Indonesia the largest Muslim country in the world, has witnessed what may be interpreted as a continued Islamisation of its Family Law, including the absorption & subsumption of prevalent practices into a logic of codification and reform according to particular interpretations of Muslim laws. But in the light of the Government’s 1988 Compilation of Islamic law, some limited changes in the inheritance laws favourable to women have taken place. The paper by Cammack examines the intricacies of this process in Indonesia.

In Java, Indonesia, only about one-third of land title certificates reflect ownership by women. This lack of registered land ownership can potentially harm women by depriving them of influence within the household and leaving them vulnerable in cases of divorce or a spouse’s death. This Article argues that effective land registration mechanisms and legal and social recognition of women’s property rights all play a critical role in protecting women’s ownership interests.
One of the central dynamics shaping agrarian change, and one seldom highlighted, is the structure and ideology of kinship and clientage in peasant communities. This article examines the importance of kin ties in the maintenance of nonwage labor relationships in a wet-rice farming community in West Sumatra, Indonesia. In this village patron-client ties are primarily organized on the basis of matrilineal kin ties through and between women.

This paper discusses the role of Indonesian religious courts in giving access to justice for women. It will analyze the role with the perspective of procedural and substantive justice. The discussion on access to procedural justice encompasses client service, prodeo case, and circuit court, while access to substantive justice will focus on three selected areas: polygamy, divorce and joint marital property.

Indonesian authorities must immediately repeal the newly issued government regulation permitting female circumcision (‘sunat perempuan’), and instead enact specific legislation with appropriate penalties prohibiting all forms of female genital mutilation (FGM). The new regulation legitimizes the practice of female genital mutilation and authorizes certain medical professionals, such as doctors, midwives and nurses, to perform it. The new regulation defines this practice as “the act of scratching the skin covering the front of the clitoris, without hurting the clitoris”. The procedure includes “a scratch on the skin covering the front of clitoris (frenulum clitoris) using the head of a single use sterile needle” (Article 4.2 (g)). According to the new regulation, the act of female circumcision can only be conducted with the request and consent of the person circumcised, parents, and/or guardians.

This report - in consultation with the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) - is structured in a way that will help the Committee as well as other general public to understand the actual practice of torture in Indonesia. It also provides some information on the analysis of the implementation of the Convention by the Government of Indonesia.

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