Indonesia has long been struggling with high unemployment. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of INA and acronym for Indonesia. During the economic crisis of 1997-98, many industrial workers lost their jobs, which resulted in part because about 10 percent of the population in the early 2000s were unemployed. After 2010, this figure has dropped to around 6 percent.
The country’s president since 2014, Joko Widodo, is the first Indonesian president who does not have a background from the country’s political and military elite. Widodo went to election with the promise of promoting increased economic growth and promised investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, education and poverty reduction. This has been reflected in economic stimulus packages in the form of reduced industry regulations, tax cuts for investors and reduced import duties.
Since the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s, Indonesia has been characterized by high unemployment and underemployment. In 2016, the unemployment rate was 5.6 percent. However, youth unemployment is considerably higher, about 20 percent. Some estimates show that one third of the workforce is underemployed. Among these are mainly women and young people affected.
Women make up almost 40 percent of the workforce but have a weak position in the labor market. On average, women earn 57 percent less than men. Women also risk losing their job in connection with pregnancy or parental leave.
The manufacturing industry as well as the construction and finance sectors were hit hard by the financial crisis, which has led many Indonesians to seek work abroad. In addition to the large number who do not have a work permit abroad, almost 3 million Indonesians work legally abroad.
The working week is 40 hours. In addition to national holidays, workers are entitled to 12 days’ holiday.
One third of the workforce works in agriculture, while the tourism industry and industry each employ one fifth of the working population.
Nowadays, the International Labor Organization (ILO) considers Indonesian labor law to be employee friendly, which is a difference since before. During the Suharto regime, only one government-controlled trade union was allowed. Until 1990, strikes were prohibited. Improvements were made in 1994, including a minimum wage, collective bargaining at individual workplaces were allowed and the army’s right to dissolve strikes was restricted. In 2017, the minimum wage in Indonesia amounted to just over SEK 2,000. Following Suharto’s fall in 1998, trade union activities have become stronger and more influential, while many new trade unions have been formed.
Although prohibited by law, employers sometimes oppose employees’ union involvement. Similarly, the minimum wage that is set annually by the state is not always followed. Teachers and government employees are not covered by the strike right. The informal sector is large and employs an estimated 21 percent of Indonesian workers. Particularly vulnerable are the approximately 8 million, preferably women, who are employed by households. These often operate under slave-like conditions.
Child labor is prohibited up to the age of 12 but nevertheless occurs especially in agriculture, mining and industry. 3.7 percent of children aged 10-14 years under difficult conditions in the mining industry. Of Indonesia’s prostitutes, 30 percent are estimated to be minors. Household young girls are particularly exposed to the risk of being sexually exploited. According to the country’s public statistics, there are an estimated 40,000 street children in Indonesia. A quarter of these are in Jakarta.
The retirement age in Indonesia in 2015 was 56 years. It is gradually increased every three years until it reaches 65 years. In 2016, unemployment benefits were missing for Indonesian workers.
Welfare and poverty
Poverty is widespread. 40 percent of the Indonesian population lives on $ 2 a day. Poverty is particularly widespread in the country’s eastern and rural areas.
The economic inequality in Indonesia, which in terms of population is the world’s fourth largest country, is extensive. In 2016, Indonesia ranked sixth in the world in terms of economic differences. At the same time, Indonesia is a growing country with an economy on the rise and claims for social benefits are high.
Indonesia began introducing state social insurance in 2004. This is expected to be implemented in 2019. Social insurance must include free health care, life and accident insurance, unemployment and health insurance and pensions. In 2016, however, only half of the population were covered by public insurance systems. Private insurance exists for those who can afford it.
Health care has been improved, primarily through more rural health centers, increased access to clean water and implemented vaccination programs. Life expectancy has risen significantly. In 2015, women and men lived 21 and 17 years longer than 1960. At that time, the average life expectancy was 50 years.
Infant mortality is decreasing but, together with high maternal mortality, health problems are a priority for the government. 37 percent of all children under the age of five suffer from impaired physical and mental development as a result of malnutrition and unilateral diet. In addition to the immediate health problems that this entails, the government considers this problem as growth inhibition for Indonesia in the long run. Furthermore, the environmental degradation associated with the palm oil industry as well as forest and peat fires adversely affects the health of parts of the country’s population.
By law, women are equal to men. The woman has a statutory right to sexual and reproductive health. At the same time, a married woman cannot obtain contraception without her husband’s permission.
Abortion is prohibited except when the woman’s life is in danger or when she has been raped. Under these circumstances, abortion must be done with the permission of the woman’s husband or father and within 40 days of her becoming pregnant.
Female genital mutilation is recurring and almost half of the country’s girls under 11 are sexually abused. Female genital mutilation was legalized in 2010, officially with the aim of ensuring that hospital staff perform the procedures. The decision has drawn criticism from human rights organizations.
In the 1980s and 1990s, campaigns were conducted to limit childbirth in Indonesia, where families have historically been large. In 2016, the fertility rate had more than halved. Mothers are entitled to 3 months parental leave. This cannot be transferred to the fathers.
With the support of New Zealand, in 2016 a pilot program for childcare for young children was implemented in hundreds of Indonesian villages. The goal was to establish a national coverage of childcare in the long term with preschool activities in each individual village.
The position of the Indonesian woman varies greatly between different groups in Indonesia. In the matrilineal culture of the Minangkabau people of western Sumatra, only women own land and property inherited exclusively by daughters. In areas where stricter forms of Islam are practiced, the woman’s position is instead weak and her life is more limited. Child marriage occurs frequently. The law allows marriage for girls from the age of 16. The corresponding age for men is 19 years.
The view of LGBTQ people varies across the country. Some areas have a long tradition of tolerance towards transgender people. In more religious and conservative parts of Indonesia, intolerance is widespread. Homosexuality is not prohibited, but laws on moral conduct and anti-pornography law are used to criminalize LGBTQ persons.
There is great intolerance to homosexuality. Same-sex marriages are legally disputed as, on the one hand, they are not prohibited by criminal law, but on the other hand are determined as deviant behavior under the Anti-Pornography Act. As a result of several condemning statements by ministers and religious leaders in 2016, the situation for LGBTQ people has worsened.
The government is working to strengthen the rights of people with disabilities, whose opportunities to participate in political life on the same terms as other citizens are constitutionally protected.
The actual situation of people with disabilities is usually difficult. Inadequate care is a widespread problem, especially in rural areas. People with disabilities are usually entirely financially dependent on their families. People with mental illness are subjected to physical and sexual abuse in connection with their institutionalization under difficult conditions. Although prohibited, it is common for people with mental illness to be chained. This is done both in private homes and in institutional environments.