On 22-23 July 2023, the Indonesian Peasant Union (SPI) held UNDROP and legal formation for its member in Sumatra Island. This event was held in Medan, and was attended by 23 young peasants from different provinces such as Aceh, North Sumatra, West Sumatra, Riau, Bengkulu and Jambi.
This activity was held as one of SPI’s efforts to continue implementing UNDROP, especially on this occasion placing UNDROP as the main reference in legal work. This formation is also a solution to the lack of advocates and legal assistants.
Introduction with a seminar on Agrarian Reform
Before this formation began, the Indonesian Peasants’ Union worked together with PUSKAHAP FISIP USU (Center for Agrarian and Peasants’ Rights Studies) and the Sintesa Foundation to hold a seminar entitled “21st Century Agrarian Reform: The Unfinished Struggle for Agrarian Reform in Indonesia”. The speakers in this seminar were Henry Saragih (SPI), Randa Putra Sinaga (USU’s FISIP PUSKAHAP), Saturnino M. Borras (ISS), Shalmali Guttal (Focus on the Global South) and Nelson Mudzingwa (ZIMSOFF). The aim of holding this seminar is to be able to provide context to the participants about the situation of land grabbing and the struggle for agrarian reform in Indonesia and other countries.
Learning about the UNDROP
After the seminar, the formation began. The material focused on the history of UNDROP’s struggle and deepening the understanding of the UNDROP’s articles and the different implementation strategies. In the material on articles, participants were asked to be able to dissect the phenomena around them by using the articles in UNDROP. This formation focused on right to land, right to food and right to justice, bearing in mind that violations of rights that often occur on the island of Sumatra are violations of right to land in agrarian conflicts. Peasants are often victims of violence, criminalization and intimidation by corporations. These violations occurr in various sectors, from the plantation sector, forestry to the coastal areas.
The topic of the implementation strategy was carried out by providing successful examples of the recognition of people’s collective rights in Indonesia and other forms of advocacy that can be carried out. In addition to the topic regarding UNDROP, practical material was also provided such as how to face trials or investigations when agrarian conflicts occur.