CPDE Statement on the harassments and human rights violations against CSOs in Bali Indonesia

The CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) condemns the attacks by state forces against civil society organisations (CSOs) in Bali, Indonesia where the International Monetary Fund and World Bank (IMF-WB) are currently holding the 2018 IMF-WB Annual Meetings.

The alarming harassments and sabotage in Bali have been reported by the organisers of the Peoples’ Global Conference Against the IMF-WB (PGC) and local Indonesian organisations. This October 11, maneuvers from the authorities led to the cancellation of the PGC open space event where CPDE was set to host a forum on private financing through the effective development cooperation (EDC) lens. Days before the event, the Indonesian government issued a Bali-wide ban on public assembly in an attempt to restrict CSO activities and assure ‘security’ for the Annual Meetings delegates. This directive eventually led to non-issuance of permit to organise the PGC.

On the 8th of October, the PGC’s lawyers and several local progressive leaders received harassment messages for organising the PGC in Bali. The text messages were aimed to malign and threaten the PGC and its organisers.

These cases are outright violations of people’s right to freedom of opinion and expression and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, as guaranteed by Articles 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. CPDE denounces the Indonesian Government’s crackdown on CSOs and the IMF-WB’s failure to condemn violation of CSOs’ right to initiative. We decry the shrinking space for civil society, which runs counter to the notion of inclusive development – one of the key tenets enshrined in the development effectiveness principles.

CPDE demands government’s’ accountability towards the recognition, protection, and fulfillment of the norms and standards under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

At stake in the Bali meetings is the intensification of policies raising the profile of the private sector as driver of development and the role of international financial institutions (IFIs) such as the IMF-WB in advancing corporate agenda. The youth, women, migrants, indigenous peoples, rural and urban poor, together with the wider CSO community, gathered in Bali to voice our outrage on this development trend.

CPDE encourages all its members and the international community to speak up against the recent human rights violations of the Indonesian government and the IMF-WB. The platform calls on development cooperation actors to exercise accountability in ensuring that the commitments in providing enabling environment for CSOs are observed and ensuring development for the people is achieved.

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The CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) gathers a broad coalition of community organisations, trade unions, faith-based organisations, youth groups, feminist movements, indigenous groups and NGOs, which are all committed to turning the promise of an effective development cooperation into concrete actions by governments, international organisations, business and any other development actors.


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