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Administrations identify newcomers as source of problems JAKARTA - In spite of widespread criticism, the administrations of Jakarta, Tangerang and Depok continue to insist identity checks are the key to limiting rural-urban migration. The three neighboring administrations plan to carry out door-to-door checks for individuals without ID cards issued by their city of residence.

The municipality and regency of Tangerang will simultaneously carry out inspections next week, including of industrial areas believed to be the main destinations of unskilled newcomers. "The newcomers will only increase the city's population, which stands at Rp 1.5 million and jack up the unemployment rate," municipal spokesman Saiful Rochman told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday. He predicted the crime rate would also rise.

"Mayor Wahidin Halim has ordered all districts to check all houses for residents without ID cards," he said. The administration says the population increases by more than 10 percent every year after Idul Fitri. Tangerang regency plans to focus its identity checks on the industrial areas of Cikupa, Pasar Kemis, Curug, Serpong, Balaraja, Rajeg and Tigaraksa. Business centers and red-light districts in Kosambi, Ciputat, Pamulang, Pondok Aren will also be targets.

Yuliah Iskandar, the head of communicable disease prevention at the regency's health agency, said Tangerang regency's population had reached 3.5 million. She said 1,564 migrants without ID cards were found during last year's checks. "We fined each migrant between Rp 100,000 and 150,000." Yuliah said it was likely that more sex workers were establishing themselves in the regency as sex workers who had gone to their hometowns for the holiday often convinced their friends there was easy money to be made away from the village.

"If that is so, HIV will spread rapidly in the regency," she said. There are currently 1,500 sex workers in the regency, and 159 reported cases of people living with HIV. The administrations of Jakarta and Depok earlier warned holiday travelers not to return with jobless friends or relatives, citing already-high unemployment rates.

Jakarta will commence identity checks, called Operasi Yustisia, by Nov. 7, while the Depok administration is scheduled to start its checks Thursday. The Bogor administration, however, is of the opinion that such measures are unnecessary. "We will never be in the business of rooting out newcomers to Bogor," administration spokesman M. Sjahuri said Monday.

He said newcomers to Bogor were only required to report their presence to their neighborhood chief. "It is more important that their neighbors know who they are," he said. He, however, urged migrants to learn new skills before seeking work in Bogor. Andrinov Chaniago, the director of the Center for Indonesian Regional and Urban Studies (CIRUS), said the identity checks were incompatible with human rights law.

"Local administrations must find another way as the checks violate human rights and do not effectively deter people from entering the cities," he said as quoted by Antara. "It is a big mistake. The administrations can't stop nationals from moving around in search of work," Andrinov said.

He said the high rate or rural-urban migration was due to the failures of the central government, which focused economic development on cities rather than helping villagers improve their lives. "The government's program to develop infrastructure in villages is just rhetoric," he said.



Posted in Human rights @ 02 November 2006 03:55 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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