This parallel discussion centred on the topic of the experiences of human rights cities of other countries, was held on Wednesday, 14 November 2018, during the Human Rights Festival 2018 in Wonosobo District, Central Java.
The panel of experts included Professor Syn, director of Gwanju International Centre; Faisal, director of Asia Democratic Networks; Aditya, representative of the Directorate of the International Organization of Foreign Affairs; Beka Ulung Hapsara, commissioner of Komnas HAM; and Eko Setiono, expert staff of the Government of Wonosobo.
Discussion began by an introduction by Professor Syn, who elaborated on the human rights situation in South Korea. According to Professor Syn, acts of intolerance and discrimination are almost non-existent in Gwanju. "South Korea has rigorously investigated alleged violations of human rights since 1980, promotes democratic participation in the World Human Rights Cities Forum (WHRCF)," Professor Syn said.
Faisal added that in order for countries to improve access to human rights, respective governments must be willing to improve its communication with international Non-Government Organizations, be open to participating in a democratic discussion on human rights, and improve dissemination of information for its citizens. The latter contributes to the strengthening of public participation and allows citizens to make informed decisions.
Within the same token, Aditya suggested that governments must be willing to include citizens in its endeavours regarding the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals with organizations such as the United Nations.
Commissioner Beka of Komnas HAM commended on Indonesia’s improvement with regards to human rights as compared to five years ago. Beka added that regions in Indonesia have progressively taken human rights based approach to policy making and that he hopes to see increasing participation in the WHRCF from other regions of Indonesia.