Vicious Cycle of Slum Formation – Forced Eviction

In spite of the fact that there were policies carrying out to ‘help’ the poor, not all the slum clearance is made in the name of providing a better living environment for them. This was because the government also had financial difficulties. One has to be noted that the main source of income of the government came from various taxes and levies. However, as you could see from the table below, in 1967, 41% of the employment in Jakarta went into informal sector, meaning that the government almost could not receive money from these people since they were either not registered or unauthorized. As a result, not much expense could be squeezed to carry out a well-rounded and thorough scheme to deal with the slums. Eventually, the government had to carry out forced eviction in order to reclaim back the lands. “During the 1970s and 1980s, particularly in political environments predominated by centralized decision-making…some governments opted for a repressive option with a combination of various forms of harassment and pressure on slum communities, leading to selective or mass eviction of slum dwellers”*1


In such circumstances, there were almost no negotiation and consensus made with the slum dwellers. They carried out eviction with the reason that the dwellings are illegal and unauthorized based on “Jakarta Regulation (Perda) NO. 11/1998, which prohibits individuals from living along riverbanks, under flyover bridges, or near railway tracks”*2. However, the government did not shoulder the responsibility of resolving the living place for the victims of eviction, which violated the international law that protects the basic human right for having a proper shelter.


Consequently, the slum dwellers cannot but forced to relocate their “settlements” in other places and became more scattered over the city.



Bibliography and Reference

1. United Nations Human Settlements Programme (2003), The Challenge of Slums – Global Report on Human Settlement 2003. UK:  Earthscan Publications Ltd, p.130

Bede, S., Leonard, S. Fellow(2006), Condemned Communities: Forced Evictions in Jakarta, Volume 18. New York: Human Rights Watchp.37

3. S. V., Sethuraman (1976), Jakarta: Urban development and employment. Geneva: International Labour Office

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