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Access to Public Housing for Outsiders

A Practice of Indirect Discrimination in Decentralised Indonesia

E.D. Kusumawati, A.G. Hallo de Wolf and M.M.T.A. Brus

While the decentralised system adhered to by Indonesia has allowed the central government to delegate its affairs to local governments and has brought benefits for democracy, several issues are open for improvement. One of the areas allocated to local governments is housing and settlements. There are indications that in some cases the local governments fail to provide access to public housing for outsiders, who are also vulnerable to eviction and resettlement. This article discusses legal regulations and examples of housing policy at the national level. Moreover, it assesses general practices of four Indonesian local governments: Jakarta, Surabaya, Jogjakarta and Surakarta, concerning access to public housing for outsiders. The article investigates whether the four Indonesian local governments unintentionally facilitate indirect discrimination or legally limit the right to housing for the purpose of promoting the general welfare. The analysis is based on the prohibition of indirect discrimination related to the right to housing in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (icescr), General Comments and Concluding Observations.