Ratification of the Declaration of the Rights of the Indonesian Child as an Implementation of Cosmopolitanism


Child problems add to the row of issues that must be prioritized to be addressed immediately. The state is the actor most responsible for making changes for the better. Of course every country understands that it is they who are in charge of ensuring the fulfillment of children’s rights and protection. In order to realize the fulfillment of children’s rights and protection, the state needs to carry out binding policies so that each country can make firm efforts to realize child protection. The awareness of countries in realizing children’s rights was then the background for its formation in the Declaration of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (N Shobah, 2019). This declaration of children’s rights is a manifestation of the implementation of human rights and cosmopolitan values. Indonesia is one of the countries that joins in implementing human rights and cosmopolitan values.

Discrimination Against Children in Indonesia

Child discrimination is a quite crucial issue in the world. Discrimination itself is a distinction against a person or a certain group based on ethnicity, race, religion, or identity. Direct and indirect exclusion that causes harm to someone. The existence of this discrimination is contrary to human rights values. Human rights itself is one of the important things to respect the freedom and rights of every individual, including children. Nowadays, discrimination against children occurs all over the world, one of which is Indonesia. The level of violence and discrimination against Indonesian children includes abuse, sexual harassment, and obscenity, child exploitation, to murder. Discrimination against Indonesian children often occurs due to several factors. One important factor is poverty. According to a UNICEF report, poverty is a major challenge that children must face. This affects the deprivation of children’s rights including the fulfillment of health, school opportunities, feeling safe from violence and many more. the percentage of the poor population in Indonesia fell from 13.3 percent to 9.82 percent. Millions of people, including children, have been lifted out of poverty. This then makes children vulnerable to discrimination (UNICEF, 2020).

Indonesian child labor adds to the row of issues related to violations of children’s rights. children who are supposed to play, learn, and spend their childhood exploring many things, but these children then have to give up their childhood to work. Child labor is a problem that is quite vulnerable and has a serious impact. This can have an impact on the development and growth as well as the physical and mental health of children in the world, especially often found in developing countries such as what happened in Indonesia. (H Kosher, 2016). According to reports, children in Indonesia are employed from the age of 10-17 years The number of child workers is increasing every year. It was recorded in 2006, 1.81 and in the following year it reached 2.21 million, and the highest in 2008 reached 5.75 million. This figure is very worrying. The level of child labor in Indonesia then also has an impact on the high number of children dropping out of school due to choosing to become child laborers. These children are forced and forced to help their parents work to meet their daily needs. It’s not just a child labor problem, it’s a violence problem. Children become targets of violence from their families. Background by the factor of a pre-prosperous family, poverty and limited job mobility make the stress level of these parents increase, which then takes their children out as targets of violence. In addition, children from unexpected outcomes are also a factor in that children often get physical violence and also have an impact on their mental health (Fitriani, 2016).

Formation of the Declaration of the Rights of the World Child

The large number of discrimination and violations of children’s rights in the world then becomes a special concern to form a body for the protection of children’s rights. Initiated by the United Nations regarding the importance of Human Rights in dealing with the protection of children’s rights, then giving birth in the Declaration of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on November 20, 1958. The formation of the convention on the rights of the world child certainly formulated universal values ​​and legal norms as an umbrella for countries to protect children. Therefore, this convention contains international agreements on human rights by inserting civil rights, economic rights, and cultural rights in them. There have been many who have signed the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in the world, except for Somalia and several other countries. In the Convention on the Rights of the Child there are 54 articles of regulation governing the protection of children’s rights. As a body that strives for child protection. The Declaration of the Convention on the Rights of the Child strives for universal children’s rights to be fulfilled (Human Rights, 1989). Declaration of the Convention on the Rights of the Child affirms and decides to carry out campaigns to promote child protection, and raise a better standard of living encompassing greater freedoms globally. Because the United Nations believes that the existence of this universal declaration can respect any differences regardless of race, skin color, or limitations of a person. Therefore, it is important to focus on protecting children who are considered vulnerable so that violations of children’s rights do not occur again throughout the world (Human Rights, 1989).

Indonesia has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child by Presidential Decree Number 36 of 1990. Indonesia ratified the protection of children’s rights because, Indonesia also agreed to protect children’s rights universally and agreed to the universal values ​​contained in the Declaration of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. With the signing of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by Indonesia, legally Indonesia is obligated to fulfill and protect the basic rights of children. This ratification was strengthened by the Indonesian government by passing Law No. 23 of 2003 concerning child protection based on the rule of law to protect children (Lestari, 2017).

Indonesian Declaration of Child Rights and Cosmopolitanism

               After ratifying in the Declaration of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by Indonesia universally acknowledges the importance of children’s freedom and the freedom of every individual. The existence of a declaration initiated by the United Nations is a form of implementation of the value of cosmopolitanism. The Declaration of the Convention on the Rights of the Child as universal human rights has shown the progress of cosmopolitanism. Cosmopolitanism and human rights then form a community of states that care about and understand human rights. The existence of a community for the protection of human rights throughout the world is a form of shared responsibility. The formation of this body is based on the belief that all humans share the same human values, and these values ​​cannot be limited by any political power (Mubelo, 2017). Cosmopolitan human rights provide standards and a set of values ​​that no state can ignore. In other words, cosmopolitanism and human rights position humans as individuals who have rights and freedoms and are not citizens of a particular country. The state is only a facility to fulfill individual rights (Mubelo, 2017).

               According to Habermas (2017) in looking at cosmopolitanism and human rights, an inner agreement is formed in the Declaration of the Convention on the Rights of the Child can maintain global peace by obeying rules globally, and fairly. In addition, there must be strict steps to protect this body and monitor the enforcement of human rights throughout the world (Mubelo, 2017). According to Ignatieff (2001), regarding cosmopolitanism and human rights in the Declaration of the Convention on the Rights of the Child  can be interpreted as returning the means to individuals to fight back and returning their courage to oppose all matters related to human rights violations. Indonesia, which has ratified the Declaration of Child Rights, is an important part of realizing world peace by implementing cosmopolitan values ​​and human rights (Ignatieff, 2001). After ratification, Indonesia strengthened efforts to protect children’s rights by including the child protection agenda in the constitution. The 1945 Constitution included Article 28B Paragraph (2) which reads “Every child has the right to survival, growth and development and is entitled to protection from violence and discrimination”. In addition, Indonesia also has Law Number 23 of 2002 concerning Child Protection with two main pillars, namely fulfilling children’s rights and special protection for children. The law has been amended twice through Law 35 of 2014 and Law No. 17 of 2016 (MoRA, 2002). Related to the protection of child labor, Indonesia has also enacted related laws contained in Law Number 1 of 2000 concerning Ratification of ILO Convention Number 182 Concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor (ILO, 2000).

               The efforts made by Indonesia in protecting children’s rights are not only published domestically, but Indonesia also invites ASEAN countries to participate in efforts to protect children’s rights. Indonesia and other ASEAN member countries carried out policies related to the ASEAN Declaration on child protection in 2017 (ASEAN, 2019). Not only that, Indonesia and ASEAN countries form ASEAN Regional Forum on Child Protection (ARCF) to address child protection issues. Indonesia implements the values ​​in the 54 articles in the Declaration of the Convention on the Rights of the Child to then form a new declaration with the aim that countries in the region can adopt the same values ​​universally. Other implementations carried out by Indonesia regarding cosmopolitan values ​​and human rights can also be seen in Indonesia’s involvement in collaboration with UNICEF, with a child protection agreement signed. Indonesia agreed to obey and consistently help improve children’s health, education, improve child nutrition, and regarding child exploitation. UNICEF is also very supportive of Indonesia’s passion for child protection (UNICEF, 2021).


The Declaration of the Convention on the Rights of the Child which was sparked by the United Nations is the beginning of cosmopolitan values ​​and human rights exist to invite the world community to care about children’s rights which are sometimes ignored. Indonesia is one of the countries that implements these cosmopolitan values ​​and human rights quite well, marked by the efforts that Indonesia has made to protect the rights of Indonesian children. Indonesia also seeks to implement and be consistent in implementing the values ​​contained in the Declaration of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The existence of a declaration of the rights of the world’s children proves that cosmopolitan and human rights can successfully apply their values, to care about freedom, especially children. Indonesia as a country has also proven to be a cosmopolitan country by participating in ratifying and cooperating in protecting the rights of the world’s children.

Cindy Juliana
Cindy Juliana
I am Cindy Juliana, currently I am studying for a Masters in International Relations, Gadjah Mada University. Previously I studied at the Islamic University of Indonesia to pursue a bachelor's degree.