History of the Coalition

Human Rights and Peace for Papua was created in March 2003. From its launch in 2003 until December 2012, the Coalition was called the Faith-based Network on West Papua (FBN). The Coalition was created by religious, development cooperation, social and human rights organisations from different countries working for many years with partners in Papua. With the formation of the coalition, the associated faith-based organisations responded to a call from religious leaders in Papua to help them promote peace, justice and human rights in Papua.

After the end of the Suharto regime and its military oppression in 1998, the people of Papua hoped for democracy, rule of law and the protection of human rights for the indigenous people of Papua. In order to protect and guarantee the rights of the indigenous people of Papua, the Special Autonomy Law for Papua from 2001 was seen as a way forward after Papuans had suffered for decades under military rule and its extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary arrests, racial discrimination, exploitation of natural resources and the destruction of livelihoods. The members of the Coalition shared that hope.

However, the Special Autonomy Law has not been implemented. Instead, the Indonesian Government violated the law various times, e.g. by Presidential Decree 01/2003 to divide Papua into three Provinces without consultation of the Papuan people. Faith-based and civil society organisations in Papua consider the Autonomy law as failed. The militarisation Papua continues and with it the violations of civil and political as well as economic, social and cultural rights of the Papuan people. Perpetrators of human rights violations are not held accountable.

In that climate of violence and fear, the Papuan religious leaders were committed to making “Papua a land of peace” with the vision to guarantee the human rights of the Papuan people restore their self-esteem and find truth and reconciliation. The Coalition supported the campaign Papua, land of peace and the efforts of its religious leaders through various means of advocacy. Participating organisations had created the FBN in solidarity with the Papuan people and in consultation with their Papuan partners.