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Workers demonstrate for fair labour conditions in Jakarta


Indonesia is an Asian powerhouse. A country rich in natural resources, which has attracted significant foreign investment, it is the world’s third largest democracy and home to the world’s largest Muslim population.

Indonesia is a vast and complex nation. 18% of people live in poverty; 42% of them live on $2 a day, 7% live on just $1 a day. Indonesia is prone to man-made and natural disasters of all sizes. Despite recent democratisation and “big bang decentralisation”, growth and development are uneven, and women in particular have poor access to basic services, natural resources, and economic and political opportunities. Indonesia has the potential to be a world leader in managing natural resources sustainably, fairly and responsibly.

Oxfam Australia has supported Indonesia since the 1960s working with and through Oxfam Great Britain and local partners. In Indonesia we are working to promote gender equality and justice, support poverty reduction through sustainable livelihoods and assisting communities and the Government to prepare and respond to natural disasters.

Strengthening community organisations

Our work In Indonesia works to support the poor. We support both community organisations and national organisations to bring about local change in communities as well as policy changes that will protect millions of people. Central to our program is the need for women to have a voice in determining their own futures by asserts their civil and political rights.

Women’s empowerment and rights

Our work ensures women have the information and resources to build their self-confidence and identify or create opportunities to be involved in decision-making processes which affect their lives and those of their families and communities. We also work to reduce violence against women and provide men with the information to encourage them to be respectful of women’s rights in their communities.

Improving women’s labour rights

Many Indonesian workers suffer from exploitative working conditions. Our work promoting labour rights helps workers, particularly women, ensure their rights are respected and that they have a say in decisions affecting them. We also work to influence companies to ensure they uphold their worker’s rights.

Developing sustainable rural life

We support a partner alliance Desa Sejahtera to reduce poverty at community level; we conduct specific research to inform local policy-making processes, to in turn improve poverty reduction programs’ effectiveness; and we build vulnerable households’ capacity to participate in Desa Sejahtera development. We also support Solidaritas Perempuan to develop community and industry guidelines that better protect women’s rights when large development project are utilising their natural resources and or disrupting their traditional livelihoods.

Preparing and responding to emergencies

We aim to improve Oxfam and partners’ preparedness for disasters, and provide appropriate emergency responses – delivering timely and appropriate humanitarian interventions in districts of Indonesia unable to cope with the scale of the disaster. To increase the effectiveness, speed and impact of an emergency intervention, we aim to strengthen existing partnerships and form new partnerships and alliances with key humanitarian actors, continue to develop our own capacity, and focus on logistics preparedness. We work on emergency response during disasters in the form of food provision, health assistance, temporary shelter, and grants for income-generating activities to help the disaster victims recover.