The OPM, the TPN-PB and the terrorist label

On 29 April 2021, the Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Prof. Mahfud MD, announced during a press conference that the armed separatist groups in West Papua would be categorised as terrorists. This announcement earned widespread criticism among observers and stakeholders well acquainted with the situation in West Papua. For those not so familiar with the history and developments in West Papua, this raised the question of who are these separatist groups that the Indonesian government labels as terrorists and the media often refer to as OPM and TPN-PB. The following paper, published by the West Papua Project of the University of Wollongong and the International Coalition for Papua, aims to answer that question from an academic perspective. It looks at the history of those groups and accounts for the events that led to the Indonesian government labelling them "terrorists".



Infrastructure Idols - Portraits and Paradigms of Development under Special Autonomy in Papua

Infrastructure Idols is a collection of essays exploring the challenges and human rights impacts of large-scale infrastructure development projects in the semi-autonomous Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua. The book written by Yason Ngelia, Yuliana Lantipo, Pilipus Robaha, Yohanis Mambrasar, Waldine Praxedes Meak and Benny Mawel was originally published in Indonesian by ELSAM as Berhala-Berhala Infrastruktur. It can be downloaded in English and Indonesian from the ELSAM Website.

The research was conducted in the period from August 2019 – January 2020, and explores the complex motivations and dynamics influencing and arising from projects such as the building of airports, roads, and telecommunications infrastructure, in regions otherwise not widely reported.



International Debate on West Papua

This is a compilation of statements made by government representatives regarding West Papua. This includes statements made at United Nations meetings and various regional and sub-regional bodies regarding the conflict and human rights situation in West Papua or the human rights policies in Indonesia affecting the situation in West Papua. Any part of this compilation may be reused.


UN Recommendations and Observations on West Papua

This is a comprehensive compilation of recommendations and observations made by international mechanisms of the United Nations, the European Union and other bodies regarding the conflict and human rights situation in West Papua or the human rights policies in Indonesia affecting the situation in West Papua. Any part of this compilation may be reused.


PAPUA: The Neglected ‘Paradise’, Human Rights Report SJP throughout Papua 2015-2017 and Memoria Pasionis 2018, Notes and Reflections of Human Rights Events in the Land of Papua, July - December 2018

"This book actually does not only contain a series of reports, both narrative and investigative. More than that, it was intended to inspire the emergence of truly synergistic movements to carry out a gigantic work: upholding justice and peace in Land of Paradise. This book, thus, intends to motivate the fellow activists to uphold justice and peace that must be fought for in the Land of Papua /Tanah Papua.

Perhaps it is not too much to say that this book also seeks to deliver an approach: understanding Papua from the perspective of Papuans with their special characteristics. Without understanding Papua from their perspective, it seems difficult to look into the heart of Papuans. Therefore, I hope this book will open our horizons so that we are eager to learn from the rich repertoire of Papuans. Why? Because the abandonment of Papua as the heavenly land, undoubtedly, is a serious violation of the enforcement of the values of noble human dignity.


Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict Update Report on the Indonesian Military's Influence


The Indonesian military (Tentara Nasional Indonesia, TNI) in 2016 may intensify pressure for a broader remit in internal security affairs as its warm relationship with President Jokowi deepens and its credibility with the public soars. Several factors continue to drive the push for power: conviction that the country is facing many dangers that only the TNI can address; distrust of civilian politicians and political leaders; resentment of the police; and a sense of opportunity in the current political situation.

Download IPAC Update Report on the Indonesian Military's Influence as PDF File


History of Violence in Papua

Papua, Indonesia has a long history of violence by security forces before, during and since the administrative take-over.

ICTJ/ELSAM Report: The Past That Has Not Passed

Human Rights Violations in Papua Before and After Reformasi

ICTJ-ELSHAM-Report-Papua-2012CoverThis joint report by ICTJ and the Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy (ELSHAM-Papua) provides important insight into the ongoing debate on steps required to achieve a sustainable peace in Papua. The report reviews Papua's recent history within a transitional justice framework, and provides expert recommendations on truth seeking, justice, reparations, institutional reform, and enforcing the rights of women victims. Based on more than 100 interviews carried out in 2011 in the districts of Sorong, Manokwari, Biak, and Paniai, the report reviews Papua’s recent history, including the Special Autonomy Law governing the relationship between the Papua province and Indonesia, within a transitional justice framework.

Downlad the report in english here

Visit the ICTJ website


Security Forces in Papua - Military, Police and Intelligence

Book: Securitization in Papua

The Implication of Security Approach towards Human Rights Condition in Papua

Imparsial, 2011

Download the pdf (3MB)

Torture in Papua

The practice of torture by security forces in Papua is widespread and described by analyists as systematic. The documents provide you with case examples and analysis on the practice of torture in Papua and its impact.


West Papua at the UN Human Rights Mechanisms

In particular since the end of the Second World War, the United Nations as well as other bodies like the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has set standards on human rights, indigenous peoples rights and other norms. UN mechanisms also monitor the implementation of these rights. Treaty bodies, the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Human Rights Council (HRC) and the Special Procedures (SP) of the Human Rights Council are commonly cnsidered as the most important UN mechnisms.

An overview of their recent findings is compiled below.


Indigenous Peoples - international norms and mechanisms

Indigenous peoples are ethnic minorities who have been marginalized as their historical territories became part of a state. As such they have rights as a people and UN mechanisms monitor their implementation. Here you can learn more about indigenous peoples rights standards and their implementation in Papua.


Communities, Children and Teachers in Papua

Communities, Children and Teachers in Papua - Hand in Hand for a Better Future


This report  presents  the  findings  of  a  research  to explore  opportunities  to  increase access  to  and quality  of basic education in Papua, Indonesia.  The  main objective was to find  ways to  motivate  the people  of  Papua  to  actively  participate  in  realizing  their primary  right  to  qualified  education,  and  to involve them in building good governance responsive  to the people’s roles in the future.

 Download Report as PDF file