Freedom to Religion in the Perspective of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities/UN CRPD

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016
13:00 WIB until 15:00 WIB
Wednesday Forum at Room 406, UGM Graduate School
Risnawati Utami, SH, MS/IHPM

Time and Venue
Wednesday, February 10, 2016, Room 406 (13:00 - 15:00)


Freedom to religion is one of the human rights.  It is explicitly stated in the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights. Ideally, the human rights convention also works for all citizens in Indonesia. Meaning that every Indonesian citizen has equal right to exercise his/her rights in all aspects of life without exception. But there are some groups that are still excluded to exercise their right of freedom to religion. Persons with disabilities are one of the excluded groups.

Talking about accessibility in the public buildings/worship places such as mosque, church, vihara/temple, klenteng and pura or other related services in the worship places is one of the biggest barriers of persons with disabilities to exercise their freedom to religion. The major barriers are first; attitudinal barriers are the major obstacles in dealing with disability issues among the religious leaders. There are misconceptions in the mindsets of religious leaders about the concept of disability, which is ‘stigma’, and ‘prejudice’ of persons with disabilities. It leads to discriminate against persons with disabilities in relation to freedom to religion. Therefore they don’t have any significant roles to contribute and even to involve in their religious community. Second, environmental barriers are one of the major obstacles that persons with disabilities have to deal with the worship places because the design and architectural factors also create ‘physical barriers’ for persons with disabilities to access in the building and how to exercise their spiritual needs equally as anyone else.

The paper will explore that disability is an evolving concept that disability results from the interaction between persons with impairment, attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinders their full ad effective participation in society on an equal basis with others. In addition, it will explore the policy review, strategies and recommendations based on the UN Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities’ ratification through Law number 19/2011 and local regulation/Perda number 9/2015 on the Protection and Fulfillment of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Bali Province that the right of freedom to religion is part of human rights of persons with disabilities.[]