Indonesia: Attorney General removes discriminatory language

While homosexuality and transgenderism are not crimes in Indonesia, members of the country’s LGBT community still routinely face discrimination from both society and the government. But, in a positive step, Indonesia’s Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has decided to remove a discriminatory article from an official government job recruitment posting prohibiting LGBT individual from applying, hopefully signaling a larger governmental shift towards protecting the rights of the persecuted minority group.

The AGO office had recently posted a job listing for civil servants to its official recruitment website that listed among its requirements: “Be neither partially or totally color blind, have no mental defects including sexual orientation disorders and behavioral abnormalities(transgender) and be free of drugs…”

The job listing naturally caught the attention of human rights defenders who decried the discriminatory clause. The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) released a press statement protesting the language in the job listing, noting that both Indonesia’s Guidelines for Classification of Mental Disorders Diagnosis (PPDGJ) from 1993 and The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association did not categorize sexual orientation as a mental illness.

Komnas HAM also argued that requirement violated the principle of non-discrimination set forth in the Indonesian constitution and the 1999 Law on Human Rights that says that all citizens have to right to freely apply for any job, in accordance with his or her talents and abilities, without discrimination.

Somewhat surprisingly, the AGO took Komnas HAM’s protest statement seriously and has added a note to the top of their recruitment website stating that they have removed the section regarding sexual orientation and transgender from the list of requirements in line with the commission’s recommendations. Read more via Coconuts