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UN right to health expert to make first visit to West Papua



United Nations Special Rapporteur Dainius Pûras – Jubi/Victor Mambor

Jayapura, Jubi –  United Nations Special Rapporteur Dainius Pûras will visit Indonesia from 22 March to 3 April 2017 to assess the realisation of the right to health in the country.

“The purpose of this visit is to learn how Indonesia endeavours to implement the right to health, including the measures the country has taken to date and the challenges it faces,” Mr. Pûras wrote in his press statement.

His visit will be the first to Indonesia by an independent expert of the UN Human Rights Council entrusted to monitor the realisation of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

He also scheduled to visit West Papua during his visit. It will be the third visit by UN Special Rapporteur after Hina Jilani on 2008 and Manfred Nowak on 2010. Mr. Puras will examine achievements and challenges related to the enjoyment of the right to health, including the availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of health services, goods and facilities.


Mr. Pûras will also assess factors that affect the right to health in the country, including poverty, discrimination, and social exclusion.

“I will be particularly interested in addressing specific issues during this visit, especially within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” Mr. Puras said.

Among these issues are: universal health coverage; maternal and children’s health; sexual and reproductive health; mental health; HIV/AIDS; and drug/ substance use and dependency.

The Special Rapporteur will examine the situation of key populations and groups, such as women, children, people with disabilities, and indigenous peoples/ Adat communities (Masyarakat Hukum Adat).

Mr. Pûras will present a comprehensive report on his visit to Indonesia to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2018. (*)

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A glimpse on the glue-sniffing addicted children rehabs program in Merauke (part 1)




‘Aibon’ glue-sniffing addicted children in Merauke – Jubi/Frans L Kobun.

Glue-sniffing among children has been a critical issue in Papua. For example, in Merauke Region, it is estimated that 90 children have addicted to glue-sniffing. It becomes a concern of local communities and government to address this issue and help the children.

Jubi, therefore, conducts special report on efforts to rehabilitate the addicted children to not dropping more deeply in this behaviour. Glue-sniffing addicted would not only affect the health of the children but their future as well.

To start the journey, Jubi comes to see Polikarpus Boli at his rented house in Merauke. Boli is the carer of dozens of school-aged children who addicted to ‘aibon’ glue-sniffing.

We meet with five children sitting in his living room. At first glance, they look not being well-taken care, not taking a bath so often, messy long hair and wearing shabby clothes. Their physical appearance also looks alarming, very slim. After questioning, they all admit to having addicted to ‘aibon’ glue. Aibon is glue product brand which now refers to all similar glue products used for sniffing.



Jubi then sits with these five children and asks them some questions. However, none of them wants to tell how long they have addicted to glue-sniffing. Among them, three want to answer every asking question, while two others keep silence.

Those who answer the questions are a boy of 12 years old and two boys of 10 years aged. From our conversation, it reveals that these five children were pupils in a public elementary school in Merauke, but they refuse to tell why did they drop out of school.

They say that they prefer to go hunting used cans and scrap metals to sell to collectors and use money generated from the sales to buy some glue at nearest kiosks or retailer shops. For illustration, the price of a Castol brand glue is Rp 13,000, and a small-sized of Fox glue is Rp 10,000, while a large-sized of Fox glue is Rp 50,000.

“Usually, three or four of us put our money together to buy some glue because it is very expensive. Then we share it into small portions by pouring it into a used mineral water bottle that cut into a small-size,” said a twelve years old boy.

Then they hide the glue in a used mineral water bottle under their clothes and sniff it secretly.

“Sometimes we sit in a group and sniff the glue, but sometimes we do it alone,” he said.

According to him, they can buy the adhesive twice a day, because it would run out quickly after being repeatedly inhaled.

“If we buy it in the morning, it will run out in the afternoon after being sniffed. So, once again, we put our money and buy that stuff. We inhale it before we are going home in the evening,” he said.

Meanwhile, a ten years old boy also has a similar comment.

“Our parents are living here (in Merauke), but they do not know if we often sniff glue. They merely hear from someone else. When we are going home, they hit us with a stick,” he said.

These boys admit that they often got dizzy by doing this activity. When glue runs out, they even feel their epigastrium hurts. But it is only for a moment. After that, they will continue to buy and inhale it. They also say that they do not know when will they going to stop sniffing this substance because already addicted.

Meanwhile, Polikarpus Boli has become a carer for glue-sniffing addicted children in Merauke for more than five years. He works with a program initiated by Sergius Womsiwor at One-Roof Integrated High School of Wasur.

According to Boli, in 2019, there were 90 children in Merauke reportedly addicted to glue-sniffing. The data compiled from the community report to the school.

“Meanwhile, in 2020, we have not done the survey yet. So, we do not know whether it has declined or increased,” he said.

However, Boli estimates the number of glue-sniffing addicted children in Merauke is more substantial than compiled in the document; it might be hundreds.

“We face difficulty to find out the exact number. I compiled data of 90 addicted children after asking them some questions and getting around to some locations where they used to gather for sniffing glue,” he said.

According to Boli, it would take a long time to stop the detrimental habit chain among these children. “I always say this during the lesson in school every afternoon,” he said.

I always say this during the school lesson every afternoon,” he said.

Besides, provide awareness at school, Boli also come to the houses where the children live with their parents near the area of Pintu Air, Maro Village. He told their parents about the dangers of their children’s habit.

“The point is I tell them about the effect of glue-sniffing for their health because this substance is not designed for humans to inhale,” he said.

The rise of the number of children sniffing glue in Merauke has driven a concern among some residents to establish Forum Peduli Penyalahgunaan Lem (Glue-abused Care Forum/FP2L) in Merauke.

FP2L Deputy Chair Ana Mahuze told Jubi about their finding. It records in their database that there are around 47 children identified as glue-sniffing addicts in Merauke. (To be continued)


Reporter: Ans K

Editor: Pipit Maizier


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School made a security post disturbs learning activities




Illustration of military forces. – Pexels.com

Sentani, Jubi – A local parliament member of Lanny Jaya Girmin Wenda urges military and police to withdraw their troops from Popome Elementary School in Mokoni subdistrict.

“They made school as a security post that affecting school activities (stop enrol). This is very detrimental for the next generation,” said Wenda in his written statement received by Jubi on Wednesday (02/12/2020).

The Indonesian security forces have occupied the school since the shooting incident over a motorcycle taxi driver happened in November last year. It assumed the local government permitted them to make school a security post.

Concerning this, he further states it was a mistake as it disturbs the progress of education in Papua. Moreover, the current situation in the local area is very conducive following the traditional peace procession conducted by the local community in Balingga subdistrict.


“I am very concerned about this. The school just commenced in 2014, and now, they must stop their learning activities,” said Wenda.

According to him, the school applying as a security post was a unilateral act because of the local community as the customary landowner has never included in this arrangement.

“The community gave up their land for school construction. If you want to build a police and military post on this land, you have to go through meetings involve village and subdistrict communities to propose to the local parliament,” explained Wenda.

Similarly, Titus Yikwa, the Chairman of the Alliance for Papua Baptist Churches (PGBP) also calls for military and police to stop using the school as their security post. According to him, the presence of both military and police troops has disturbed the peace of local people, especially children.

“Children (elementary pupils) see them (the security forces) wearing camouflage and holding arms run away instantly. Even some get injured (because of falling while running). They are very scared (of them),” said Yukawa. (*)


Reporter: Yance Wenda

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Thousands of children in Papua are allegedly glue-sniffing addicted




The Head of Papua Education Office Christian Sohilait (left) observes the education facilities in Merauke, Saturday Sabtu (1/2/2020). – Jubi/Frans L Kobun

Merauke, Jubi – Papua Education Office is focussing on drafting a regional regulation on education. This education bill plans to cover the rights of teachers and students.

“One of our priorities is (the education for) children of glue-sniffing addicted. They are mostly indigenous Papuans. In Merauke, they are quite significant in number,” told the Head of Papua Education Office Christian Sohilait on Saturday (1/2/2020).

Based on his staff’s report, Christian said that at least around ten thousand children assumed in Papua has addicted to glue-sniffing. This situation is very alarming,and need to address immediately.

“With this huge number (of glue-sniffers), how can we ignore and not pay attention to them? It will turn to be a special case to address urgently,” said Sohilait.


Concerning this behaviour among children, he thinks it links with the lack of support from family and parenting responsibility.

“Once they were born, parents should take care of and raise their children as well as provide education for them.”

Meanwhile, the Deputy Chair of Merauke local parliament Dominikus Ulukyanan admits the case of glue-sniffing addiction among children in the region.

“It is the responsibility of all parties to embrace as well as to provide ongoing assistance (to glue sniffing addicts).” (*)


Reporter: Ans K

Editor: Pipit Maizier


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