The ACTU calls on Prime Minister Morrison to raise the human rights violations occurring in West Papua with Indonesian President Joko Widodo during his visit to Canberra today.


As Widodo is addressing Australian Parliament this morning, dozens of West Papuans are facing years in prison for peacefully demonstrating against Indonesian military and police repression during the uprising of August-September 2019. The uprising began after Indonesian police arrested 43 West Papuan students, and footage of the arrests showed Indonesian soldiers racially abusing the students. In the months following the incident, protesters took to the streets demanding an end to racial discrimination against West Papuans and calling for a referendum on independence for the territory. Indonesian military operations continue in West Papua, with hundreds killed and tens of thousands displaced.


“We call on Prime Minister Morrison to urge President Widodo to end military operations in West Papua, and allow the UN High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet to visit West Papua as a matter of urgency”, says ACTU President Michele O’Neil.


The ACTU has a long-standing history of support for the West Papuan people and supports the right of the West Papuan people to self-determination consistent with UN principles.