10 May 2013

Children in West Papua removed for 're-education' seen on streets of Jakarta

10:46 am on 10 May 2013

A human rights researcher says the alleged removal of West Papuan children for 're-education' in Jakarta is part of an unofficial but very organised plan.

Andreas Harsono says the plan involves many Government people, but is not an official policy. He says there is a blurring of the line between the state and the religion of Islam.

He says there are Papuan children on the streets of Jakarta, some as young as 10 years old.

He says children in West Papua often live with relatives, as tribal and family links are strong, meaning children are often taken to Jakarta without their parents' knowledge.

"I am usually suspicious, where do those children come from. How could they end up with their curly hair and dark skin, in Jakarta and years after years I noticed that ther must be something different. Why these children who are supposed to go to school and supposedly in their homeland are stranded on the streets of a big city like Jakarta."

Andreas Harsono says he has seen West Papuan children working in car parks and for bus drivers and falling into pickpocketing.