Human Rights Protections for Persons with Mental Illness in Indonesia: The Response of the Kebumen District to Pasung in Mbah Marsiyo’s House

Harry Minas

University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

The legal basis for protection of the human rights of persons with mental illness in Indonesia is now well developed. It includes Indonesia’s ratification of relevant UN instruments, passage of relevant laws, and the National Human Rights Commission.  Despite this, the development of effective responses to mental disorder continues to be a low priority, as demonstrated by weak mental health governance arrangements, insufficient investment, shortage of skilled mental health professionals, inadequate facilities, and inadequate information systems and research capabilities. Continuing abuse of human rights is an important consequence of these deficiencies. The most widely known form of abuse of human rights is pasung, the restraint and confinement of person with severe and persistent mental disorders in the home by families and in a variety of social and religious institutions.

This presentation will focus on an informal institution in Kebumen known as Mbah Marsiyo’s House and the efforts of the local District Government to institute to develop more appropriate mental health, rehabilitation, and social services for people with severe and persistent mental disorders.


Biography: To come


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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