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Indonesia: Plan to Issue ID Cards to Children

(Mar. 3, 2016) In February 2016, Indonesia’s Home Minister, Tjahjo Kumolo, announced that under Home Ministerial Regulation No. 2 of 2016 the government will begin issuing identity cards to children in March. The cards, to be called Kartu Identitas Anak [Child Identity Cards] (KIAs), will have unique numbers that will be issued to all Indonesians under the age of 18 who are unmarried. Speaking on February 29, Kumolo told a meeting of a House of Representatives committee that the children’s “identity cards will be automatically changed into citizen identity cards [KTP] once they turn 17. This is because their identity numbers cannot change.” (Erika Anindita Dewi, Govt to Issue Identity Cards to RI Children, JAKARTA POST (Feb. 29, 2016); Severianus Endi, W. Kalimantan Regency Pilots Child Identity Card Project, JAKARTA POST (Mar. 1, 2016).) Under a 2006 law, KTPs have been issued to all Indonesian and foreign residents of the country when they turn 17 or when they marry if that occurs before the age of 17. (Law No. 23, 2006, Concerning Administration of the Populace (effective Dec. 29, 2006), House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia website (in Indonesian).)

The new policy will be launched as a pilot program in 50 localities; it has already been tried in six places: Malang, East Java, Balikpapan, Bantul, Makassari, and Depok. Eventually it will be extended to all 514 regencies and municipalities in Indonesia. The cards will be issued in two categories, one for those children up to the age of five and the second for those five to seventeen years old. The KIAs will be given out by civil registration offices together with birth certificates. (Dewi, supra.)

One of the locations that will be included in the initial pilot program is Sekadau, in West Kalimantan Province.  According to the head of the provincial chapter of the Indonesian Child Protection Commission, the complete documentation of children afforded by the use of IDs will be useful for the government in protecting them from sexual violence.  (Endi, supra.)

Kumolo also noted that the government has set aside Rp8.7 billion (about US$650.5 million) for training of officials about KIA documents. (Dewi, supra.)