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Sexual violence law hindered by new Criminal Code: Komnas Perempuan

CNN Indonesia - April 13, 2023

Jakarta – The National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) believes that the implementation of the Sexual Violence Crimes Law (TPKS) is still being hindered by religious-political content in the revisions to the Criminal Code (KUHP).

In its 2022 Annual Working Report that was released on April 6, Komnas Perempuan alleges that some of the contents of the revised KUHP that was enacted in December last year cannot be separated from the political elite's interests in certain religions.

"The revisions to the Criminal Code also still contain a number of other fundamental problems that could hamper the promotion of human rights with specific losses for women", the commission was quoted as saying from the report on Thursday April 13.

"The content of the Criminal Code revisions – especially related to the expansion of the definition of adultery, the excessive prohibitions on cohabitation and the criminalisation of matters related to reproductive education – also shows how religious issues are still used in the contestation of power by the political elite", continued the report.

In its report, Komnas Perempuan cites several points in the revised Criminal Code that will only undermine the right to the privacy and autonomy of women. Komnas Perempuan also highlighted the potential for the criminalisation of couples outside of marriage because of the expansion of the articles on adultery in the code.

Then, related to cohabitation or couples that live together, this can be criminalised. The report also questioning the right to information about sexual health and reproduction that can also be criminalised.

Komnas Perempuan also highlighted the issue of some 305 discriminatory policies in 2022, although this number has actually declined in comparison with earlier years, namely 421 in 2016.

"But there are still at least 35 new regions that issued similar discriminatory policies in 2021 and 20 others in 2022", the commission was quoted as saying in the report.

Positive content appreciated

Komnas Perempuan however did not dismiss the entire contents of the new Criminal Code noting that there were still some positive points in the legislation.

These include reducing criminal sanctions for women who abandon their babies, and the cancelation of Article 27 of the Information and Electronic Transaction (ITE) Law that was prone to being used to criminalise victims of sexual violence.

The TPKS Law was enacted by the House of Representatives (DPR) on April 13, 2022, and has a number of articles that are related to the Criminal Code that was passed on December 6 in the same year.

The articles on rape, sexual abuse and intercourse however were included in the Criminal Code rather than the TPKS Law. (pan/kid)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Komnas Perempuan Kritik Muatan KUHP Hambat Pelaksanaan UU TPKS".]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20230413141828-20-937289/komnas-perempuan-kritik-muatan-kuhp-hambat-pelaksanaan-uu-tpk