“I am proud to announce that today Thursday 2 April 2015 is a landmark occasion as we begin the task of turning our beloved city of Bandung into a Human Rights City. By signing this Bandung Declaration of a Human Rights City, we commit to fulfilling the human rights of all our citizens. I should caution, however, that this is but the initial stage of an historic and unprecedented process to produce a participatory and auditable Charter of a Human Rights City. As such, it is not just a momentous undertaking for the people of Bandung, or even Indonesians in general, but for all citizens of the world.” Mayor Ridwan Kamil.
With the initial preparations having been completed by the Bandung city government in cooperation with the Foundation for International Human Rights Reporting Standards (FIHRRST) and PAHAM of Padjajaran University, a Focus Group Discussion and Socialization of Bandung as a Human Rights City will be held at Balaikota Bandung.
Commencing at 09.00 hours (WIB) with coverage by both national and international print and broadcast media, the event will involve the participation of some 150 stakeholders, representative of the people of the city of Bandung. The participants will be drawn from a wide cross-section of city life and include representatives of communities, universities, civil society, religious leaders, humanists, police and military, and human rights experts, as well as business entities and locally-owned enterprises (BUMD). The aim of the event is to collect ideas and aspirations of the stakeholders as to those rights required to be incorporated into the Bandung Charter of a Human Rights City. The FGD, meanwhile, is expected to elaborate on those rights that need to be promoted, respected, protected and fulfilled by the city.
After a welcoming address from Mayor Ridwan Kamil, during which he will outline his reasoning for initiating the process, the Mayor will publicly read and sign the Bandung Declaration of a Human Rights City. This will be followed by remarks from both FIHRRST and PAHAM explaining the processes for the citizen-driven, bottom-up approach to determining what should be included in a human rights charter for Bandung. The participants will then deliberate on three broad topics in a roundtable discussion format:
1. What human rights should be included in the charter, particularly those specific to the citizens of Bandung;
2. How should these human rights be implemented in the best interests of the citizens of Bandung; and
3. What form(s) of grievance mechanism should be set in place to best serve the citizens of Bandung should abuses of human rights occur.
The results of these roundtable discussions will both provide direction for formulation of the city charter and form the basis for a preliminary audit of the Bandung Declaration of A Human Rights City, which will be formally launched to an international audience by the Mayor of Bandung on 23 April 2015 in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the historic Asia-Africa Conference that the city hosted in 1955.
While this marks a positive start to the process, the FGD and socialization, as well as the Mayor’s declaration are only the initial steps on the human rights journey. Further interchanges with Bandung’s citizens through FGDs and other forms of interaction will still be required to define the articles of the Bandung Charter of a Human Rights City. Meanwhile, the city will also be subject to independent third party assessment for compliance with the certification standard that FIHRRST is currently developing.
It is envisioned that the whole process should be completed within this calendar year and that the Bandung city government and its citizens can celebrate the dawn of 2016 as a certified Human Rights City. In the meantime, however, it is hoped that the efforts of Bandung in being the first city to produce a participatory and auditable human rights charter will spur others, both within Indonesia and beyond to start their own journeys to become Human Rights Cities.