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HI takes action in Indonesia to facilitate access to public services such as schools or health centres for people with disabilities. The organisation encourages their involvement in political and public life. It also ensures that people with disabilities are well-prepared in the event of a natural disaster. Since 2017, Indonesia has been included in a regional programme with the Philippines and East Timor.

Children playing, HI Indonesia

Children playing, HI Indonesia | © Benoit Darrieux / HI

Actions in process

HI first started working in Indonesia in January 2005, the day after the Tsunami hit many Asian countries causing several hundreds of thousands of deaths. The organisation immediately came to the assistance of inhabitants of the province of Aceh. It provided them with physiotherapy services, counselling and income-generating activities. Today, its actions focus on the inclusion of people with disabilities and ensuring their rights are upheld.

Natural disaster preparedness

Indonesia is regularly affected by natural disasters: volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, flooding etc. HI continues to support its partners and local actors (sharing knowledge and skills) to include vulnerable groups, including people with disabilities, in disaster preparedness plans. The goal being to reduce the risks, to ensure that people with disabilities are not left out these plans, and to help provide for their basic needs (food and health care) and specific needs (notably rehabilitation) in emergency situations.

The rights of people with disabilities

HI supports disabled people's organisations (DPOs) and public institutions to ensure the rights of people with disabilities are better taken into consideration. This involves providing financial and technical support for organisations, in the form of training in awareness-raising and advocacy, for example. The organisation also advises public institutions to ensure public infrastructures and social services are also accessible to people with disabilities.

Inclusive education

HI helps provide quality education to all children and strengthens the education system for children with disabilities in the province of Nusa Tenggara Timur.

Areas of intervention

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Situation of the country

Map of HI's interventions in Indonésia

Indonesia is an immense archipelago of 13,803 islands. There are very frequent tsunamis, earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions in the region, which have a major impact on populations, in particular on the most disadvantaged.

Because Indonesia is frequently affected by natural disasters, HI supports the most vulnerable to ensure they are taken into account in emergency responses and in disaster risk management mechanisms.

The ratification of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the Indonesian government (October 2011) resulted from the intense campaigning by disabled people's organisations (DPO) in the country, actively supported by HI. HI conducted training and provided these organisations with financial assistance to support their advocacy with the Indonesian government. Despite these achievements, there is still progress to be made in order to ensure that the rights of people with disabilities are genuinely taken into account. 

In Indonesia we have observed that:

  • People with disabilities often suffer from discrimination and stigmatisation, notably in the provinces in the east of the country, the remotest and poorest regions. They often live in the shadows, hidden by their families, a fact that only serves to increase the inequalities they face.
  • There are very few competent services available in the medical, social, economic and educational sectors. Staff are poorly qualified and access to these services is difficult for people with disabilities.
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