Yayasan Humanis dan Inovasi Sosial


Solidarity Statement: Condemning The Intimidation Towards People’s Water Forum

Humanis Foundation

Jakarta, 22 May 2024—We hereby declare our deepest disappointment of regressivity and the denial of the right to peaceful assembly in the People’s Water Forum (PWF) Bali, Indonesia which would like to amplify the grassroots voices and concerns to encourage water management for the welfare of the people. We also condemn the acts of intimidation, threats, forced disbandment, and harassment carried out by a number of members of mass organizations against event organizers and participants including women groups.  

The People’s Water Forum is a coordinating platform for water justice movements worldwide. It is based on the collective criticism of the World Water Forum (WWF) and its corporate-driven agenda that is informed by the experiences ofsocial movement networks, grassroots organizers, environmental groups, labor organizations and academics representing and serving those most marginalized communities impacted by privatization, commodification and poisoning of our water supplies. 

Series of intimidation and efforts of silencing against People’s Water Forum (PWF) 2024 has started since the early days prior to the event and cannot be separated from the pattern of intimidation that has been ongoing since 2018 at the Annual World Bank and International Monetary Fund (WB-IMF) event. It was also reported that many people are blockading the venue, hindering the rights to freedom to move, access to food, and other necessities.  

This pattern is hugely distressing as it blatantly shows human rights violations, ultimately the rights that legally guaranteed under Article 28E paragraph (3) and Article 28G paragraph (1) of the 1945 Constitution, Article 23 and Article 30 of Law No. 39/1999 on Human Rights and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.  

As friends and fellow rights defenders, we at Humanis primarily express our disappointment and strong solidarity with what happened to our friends at the People’s Water Forum (PWF) because it shows how difficult it is to organize open, inclusive, participatory and meaningful civic discussions and activities.  

Since the beginning of 10th WWF process, we at Humanis observed and tried to push for more inclusive sessions and processes as well as advocate for the importance of participation, voices, and recognition for the water defenders and warriors. One of the identified barriers is the expensive registration fee for the participants of WWF. Therefore, spaces and alternative platforms like PWF should be embraced and should not be treated as a threat.  

We urge the Government of Indonesia to investigate the intimidation and violence targeting the PWF and protect the rights of people to peaceful assembly, freedom of opinion, and freedom of expression, as well as concretely playing the role as duty bearer to protect the people from intimidation, threats and violence. The government of Indonesia should also be responsible and can be held accountable for their acts on human rights protection and/or violations.  

We also urge World Water Council as the host of the 10th World Water Forum and the future host of WWF to provide an open, accessible space for frontrunners communities, workers, and water defenders to express their concerns, solutions, and share knowledge to build solutions towards a just and sustainable water future for all.  

In Humanis view, problems at the local, national and even global levels – including the issue of climate and water crisis will not be resolved if spaces for discussion and participation such as the People’s Water Forum (PWF) are restricted, denied and forcefully disbanded.

We are now entering the era where: 

  • efforts to challenge the assumption and status quo of existing water systems and allocation need to be supported;  
  • point of view on water as rights and public goods need to be maintained;  
  • and voices and needs on the issues related to water justice as well as climate justice must be upheld at all costs, primarily the rights of indigenous, local, traditional, underrepresented and marginalized groups.  

About People’s Water Forum Networks 

Networks affiliated with the People’s Water Forum (previously known as the Alternative World Water Forum) has organized for nearly 20 years to offer an open, accessible space for frontline communities, workers and water defenders to share knowledge, build the alternative narratives, and develop solutions towards a just, equitable and sustainable water future. Since 2003, they have consolidated the efforts to build solidarity and capacity through regional and global networks through at the following key gatherings: in Kyoto 2003, Mexico 2006, Istanbul 2009, Marseille 2012, Daegu 2015, Brasiila 2018 and Dakar 2022. 


About Yayasan Humanis dan Inovasi Sosial: 

Yayasan Humanis dan Inovasi Sosial (hereinafter: Humanis), an affiliate organization of Hivos, is a Jakarta-based non-profit development organization that works across the Southeast Asia region. Humanis works with marginalized groups and frontrunners to exercise rights and freedoms, bring about changes, influence decisions and hold those in power to account. As the name itself suggests, Humanis envisions just and sustainable societies in Southeast Asia that fulfill and protect the rights of each individual, as well as respect differences and backgrounds. To achieve our vision, we focus on three impact areas: Gender Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (GEDI), Civic Rights in the Digital Age (CRIDA), and Climate Justice. Currently, we have ongoing programs in Indonesia, Timor-Leste, the Philippines, and Vietnam. For more information, visit as at @humanisfoundation on Instagram and our website at https://hsi.foundation