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Bandung Charter of a Human Rights City (Indonesia, 2015)

The city of Bandung has been the first city to take on this issue, as well as the first city to undergo FIHRRST's project.

In Indonesia, the idea of human rights mainstreaming at the local level has been introduced since the turn of the millennium in line with the significant increase in terms of awareness of human rights. In Bandung, the idea gained momentum in concert with the 60th Anniversary of the Asia-Africa Conference, in April 2015, when the Mayor of Bandung clearly expressed his intention to sign a Bandung Declaration of a Human Rights City.

The Bandung Declaration of a Human Rights City was the first step in the development of Bandung as a human rights city. In partnership with FIHRRST and the Human Rights Association (PAHAM) of the Faculty of Law of Padjajaran University, Bandung completed a citizens-driven process (open, voluntary and participatory to all the stakeholders within society) throughout 2015, discussing and collecting inputs for the content of the Bandung Charter of a Human Rights City, which was finalized on 10 December 2015, on the occasion of International Human Rights Day.

To be effective, the citizens-driven process formulated under the principles of transparency, accountability and public participation was essential, as it provided the opportunity for all stakeholders including citizens, academics, business entrepreneurs, and NGOs, to play a role in the formulation of the Charter. The Charter itself is construed as entailing both rights for the citizens and relevant obligations upon the City government. The Charter also covers the equality and welfare section, conceived, once again, as a combination between right and obligation, which are the two sides of the very same coin (freedom of religion and belief, rights of the elderly and disabled, rights of women, and rights of children). The Agreement stipulated an enforcement mechanism based on an independent audit on the implementation of the Charter: the local government is committed to publishing on a regular basis the results of the implementation. Finally, every citizen is entitled to an effective remedy in court, should any violation of his/her rights arise.

The Bandung Human Rights Charter serves as the source of principles and inspiration in the daily lives of citizens and in the exercise of their rights and responsibilities. It is also an expression of the commitment of Bandung as a human rights city upholding the objectives of local government and citizens in establishing a city that promotes, protects and fulfils its citizens' rights.

Moreover, at the initial stage of this Human Rights City process, two sub-districts of Bandung were chosen to be subject to a preliminary audit of their human rights city management systems. The remainder of Bandung's administration will be subject to audit by assessors accredited by FIHRRST over the next two years, in regard to the implementation of the Charter. It is a vital part of ensuring transparency and accountability that implementation of the Bandung Charter will be monitored by third party assessors.

To download the Bandung Charter of a Human Rights City click here