Monday 9 October 2017 was another good day for the fight toward the realization of the right to water and sanitation in Indonesia. The Supreme Court just made a decision in favor of citizen lawsuit against privatization of Jakarta water. This decision seconded prior decision made the Central Jakarta District Court that stated: privatization of water is a form of human rights violation, as well as against Indonesia’s constitution. Another important point is that citizen has its constitutional right to challenge the PPP contract between public and private companies.
The Supreme Court orders are:
- stop the policy of water privatization in Jakarta;
- put back the management of drinking water in the line of constitution and laws below that;
- implement the management of water in Jakarta in line with the principles and norms of human right on water (the right to water and sanitation) as stated in the chapter 11 and 12 of economic, social and cultural of Human Rights Covenant and ratified in Indonesia as the law No. 11/2015 that is linked with General Comment of UN no.15 /2012.
So, political and citizenship struggle for the right to water and sanitation has its landmark and strong legal basis now: decision of Indonesia Constitutional Court that annulled the WB imposed water No.7/2004 in 2015, decision of Jakarta District Court also in 2015 and the decision of Supreme Court in 2017 (both on Jakarta’s water PPP contract).
Some governments’ tendency those need to be worried ahead are where government only change procedure of resources and services management in response to the court decision: the case of community against expansion of cement factory in Central Java that will destroy natural ground water system, the case of community against reclamation of Jakarta Bay under the argument of flood mitigation urgency. Both cases have won in the court but the government still legalized private involvement with various licenses adjustment. The other thing is national government tendency to still giving up public sphere to private entities like water just widening into resources management (not only services).