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Moving Away From Paternalism: The New Law on Disability in Indonesia

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image of Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law

In Indonesia, persons with disabilities have long been marginalised in mainstream development policies. The adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which was ratified by Indonesia in 2011, has opened new opportunities for persons with disabilities in the country to participate in the development process. In this regard, the first step toward the implementation of the convention domestically has been undertaken through the enactment of Law No. 8/2016 on Persons with Disabilities where the provisions of the convention are directly adopted. This article traces the development of the new law and how it differs from the previous legislation. We find that the new law is moving away from a long-standing paternalistic view toward disability in Indonesia by advancing a rights-based approach. Despite this substantial change, it remains to be seen how the new law would be able to change the challenging conditions of persons with disabilities in the country.

Affiliations: 1: Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia ; 2: Independent Researcher


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