Indonesia for Global Justice (IGJ) Press Release
Monday, 5 October 2020 – Indonesia for Global Justice (IGJ) strongly criticizes the ratification of the Omnibus Job Creation Draft Bill which was ratified by the House of Representatives and the Government of Indonesia in ways that are not democratic and unconstitutional. Therefore, the Omnibus Job Creation Draft Bill must be null and void.
First, the House of Representatives and the Government deliberately discussed and ratified the Omnibus Job Creation Draft Bill in private. Second, silencing the people’s voices by using security forces who are ready to deal directly with the people protesting; and Third, the people’s sovereignty is neglected.
“Democracy is dead. The constitution has been straddled by the leaders of this country. Economic liberalization that facilitates the interests of corporate and oligarchic economic monopolies has become a guide. There is no more justice for the people,” emphasized Rachmi Hertanti, Executive Director of Indonesia for Global justice (IGJ).
Indonesia’s economic growth agenda in the Omnibus Law Job Creation will encourage the expansion of investment for natural resource-based industrialization to increase Indonesia’s competitiveness in the Global Value Chain stage. On the other hand, the state has neglected to protect labors’ rights, and without any commitment to ensure environmental sustainability and perpetuate an investment model that damages the environment and violates human rights.
“The Omnibus Law Job Creation was prepared only refers to the content of the free trade agreement rather than the mandate of the Constitution,” explained Rachmi.
Liberalization of the Food Sector
In the food sector, the Job Creation Draft Bill clearly adopts the free market regime established by the WTO. The proof is that the Job Creation Draft Bill which has now become a Law has changed four National Laws relating to food and agriculture to comply with WTO provisions. This ensure that food liberalization will further worsen the conditions of our peasants.
Rahmat Maulana Sidik, Coordinator of Advocacy for Indonesia for Global Justice, said, “The Job Creation Draft Bill opens the broadest possible liberalization of food imports and leaves it to the market mechanism. This definitely poses a serious threat to the sustainability of peasants and national food. Meanwhile, the State does not care about the sustainability of the fate of peasants and national food.”
Liberalization of international trade in the food sector will cause Indonesia to depend on imported food and ignore the fate of local food. Moreover, now the government has built a food estate project. “Rules of the Job Creation Omnibus Law was created to legitimize Food Estate. Facilitate investment, import and free market expansion. The presence of the Food Estate project is not for peasants, instead it is to accommodate the interests of large-scale agricultural industries and peasants as laborers on food estate land. This makes Indonesia dependent on imported food and opens up a large space for the monopoly of food corporations in Indonesia, ” added Maulana.
Impact of Access to Affordable Medicines due to Medicine Patent Monopoly
The elimination of Article 20 of the Patent Law in Article 110 of the Omnibus Law on Job Creation will only further strengthen the monopoly space for medicine patents by large pharmaceutical companies and have a long-term impact on the fulfillment of health insurance for all Indonesians.
“The elimination of Article 20 of the Patent Law in the Job Creation Draft Bill is wrong and is not the right step to address the problem of investment barriers. In fact, the elimination of this article will only harm Indonesia’s national interests and hamper the national industrial development agenda due to the absence of technology transfer and monopoly on knowledge and technology,” explained Rachmi.
The elimination of Article 20 of the Patent Law in the Omnibus Law will make it difficult to access medicines in Indonesia due to the loss of the obligation of patent companies to implement their patents in Indonesia. In fact, it ultimately eliminates the government’s power in order to enforce the use of patents by the government to produce generic versions of medicines needed by the public, especially in emergency situations, such as the use of compulsory licenses.
“In fact, in the midst of the Covid19 pandemic, the Indonesian people need article 20 of the Patent Law to be able to open the widest possible access to medicines and medical equipment needed in handling Covid19. The elimination of Article 20 of the Patent Law in the Omnibus Law will only exacerbate the health crisis in society,” stressed Rachmi.
Article 20 of the Patent Law is the Mandate of the Constitution. If later this article is to be eliminated for “unconstitutional” reasons, then presumably the Law which will eliminate Article 20 of the Patent Law is indeed unconstitutional.
For further information, kindly contact:
Rachmi Hertanti, Executive Director of IGJ – +62 817-4985-180.
Rahmat Maulana Sidik, Coordinator of Advocacy for IGJ – +628128048056