Papuan Customary Council asks govt to restrict migration to Papua

The atmosphere of the Port of Jayapura when the Pelni ship docked. – Jubi/Theo Kelen

Jayapura, Jubi TV– The Papuan Customary Council of the IV Great Conference of Indigenous Papuans assessed that the government should impose restrictions on migration to the Papua land. Such restrictions can be stated in regional regulations, said Secretary-General of the Papuan Customary Council Leonard Imbiri on Saturday, May 14, 2022.

Imbiri said that migration restrictions were needed to ensure Indigenous Papuans enjoyed the development in Papua and the implementation of Papua’s Special Autonomy. According to Imbiri, if migration is not controlled, the rights to life, political rights, economic rights, and social rights of Indigenous Papuans are threatened.

“Because migration is closely related to land tenure, population composition, depopulation of Papuans. For example, the native people of Port Numbay only make 1.93 percent of the total population in Jayapura City,” he said. The 2020 Census recorded that the population of Jayapura City was 398,478 people.

Imbiri said that the change in the composition of the population had drastically reduced the number of Papuans occupying parliamentary seats.

According to Imbiri, if Indigenous Papuans continue to be excluded and become a minority group in their own land anyway, Papua’s Special Autonomy which has been amended to Law No. 2/2021 would be useless.

The Papua expansion plan was useless either, said Imbiri, as it actually exacerbated the flow of migration from outside Papua. Imbiri stated that migration restrictions could be contained in a regional regulation. For example, people who enter Papua must convey the purpose of their arrival in Papua.

Imbiri said his party received reports that people had even gotten jobs in Papua even though they lived outside Papua. “While us Indigenous Papuans find it very difficult to get a job,” he said.


Papuan Customary Council chairman Mananwir Yan Pieter Yarangga said the central government should listen to the aspirations of the Papuan people, including in the matter of Papua expansion.

Yarangga assessed that the expansion of Papua suggested by the central government would only become a tool to extract Papua’s natural resource wealth. “Today there is a transfer of land rights from the Indigenous Papuans to other people. This issue continues to occur in Papua,” he said. (*)

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