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IMI is watching the private TV broadcasters of Indonesia!

What is the mission of the IMI?

The Indonesian Media Institute (IMI) is a non-governmental organization which defends the public interest in the field of television programming in Indonesia.

One of the main objectives of the IMI is to identify and stop the exploitation of children in the television media, as well as to criticize the increase of immoral content being broadcast on television.

The main activities of the IMI are to:

  1. conduct and sponsor media research on child exploitation in television (especially its impact on youth and family);
  2. monitor television programming and advertising (media watchdog);
  3. educate and inform the public about the dangers of television;
  4. give recognition to the producers of non-exploitive media content;
  5. criticize the producers of exploitive programming and advertising; and,
  6. advocate the rights of women and children.

What is the vision of the IMI?

It can be seen in the current crisis situation in Indonesia that immorality and exploitation is increasing in television programming and advertising. One danger is the exploitation of children, in a sexual context, in order to gain financial income. The Indonesian society is not yet familiar with the effects of television upon society, and therefore need to be warned.

It is hoped that by implementing the activities of the IMI, this goal can be achieved, in order to prevent the effects of child exploitation to manifest in the Indonesian society. Towards this goal, the IMI is prepared to work with the Indonesian government, television stations, the producers of television programming and advertising, the print media, and non-governmental organizations around the world.

National Seminar

On August 27, 2000, IMI held its first national seminar, with the theme "The Exploitation of Women and Children on Television." This one-day event featured an address by the Minister of Law and Legislation, Prof. Dr. Yusril Ihza Mahendra, as well as an address (read by their representative) by the Minister of Women's Empowerment, Dra. Khofifah Indar Parawansa.

Other speakers included the experts staff of the Minster of Women's Empowerment, Dr. Zaitunah Subhan; A candidate for Supreme Court Justice, Dr. Rifyal Ka'bah; and Chairperson of the Indonesian Legal Assistance Foundation, Apong Herlina. The event was moderated by the well-known celebrity and parenting advocate Neno Warisman.

We shortly hope to provide the proceeding of the seminar at this site, in both English and Indonesian, as well as photos and other information, including the progress of the follow-up on the seminar, which involves following the development of the new broadcasting law in Indonesia. In the meantime, here is the translation of the speech of the Ministers of Women's Empowerment and Law & Legislation, and some photos as well.

The State Minister for Women’s Empowerment
of the Republic of Indonesia

Jalan Merdeka Barat 15 Telp. 3805563 – 3842638 Fax. 3805562 – 3805559 Jakarta 10110

Address of the State Minister for Women’s Empowerment for the National Seminar “Exploitation of Women and Children on Television,” held by the Organization for the Dynamic Civil Society at Hotel Wisata International, Jakarta, July 27, 2000.

“the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal precaution, before as well as after birth” –from the Preamble of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Dear respected Coordinator from the Organization for the Dynamic Civil Society, the Indonesian Transparency Institute Foundation, the Indonesian Media Institute, and to all those present:

May peace be upon you, as well as the God’s Mercy and Blessing.

First of all, I convey praise and thanks to Allah, the Most Perfect and the Most High, Who has already bestowed His Mercy and Guidance upon us, so that we are able to hold this event in good health and spirits.

To continue, I convey my regards to the Organization for the Dynamic Civil Society, the Indonesian Transparency Institute Foundation (INTI), and the Indonesian Media Institute (IMI), who have already organized this national seminar in the framework of commemorating National Children’s Day, and which is entitled ‘The Exploitation of Women & Children on Television.”

Dear respected guests,

Children which are born and reared in the present age are the inheritors of the 21st century. They are now confronted with (the problems of) an era which we never (could have) imagined beforehand; not only from the angle of the advancement of information technology, but also in global interaction with all of its implications. It is recognized that children represent a commercial potential for the mass media, whether as actors or as consumers. Many parents do not realize that they rely upon television as a security guard for their children. This being the case, children feel right at home for more than five hours a day in front of the television. Meanwhile, various TV programs, such as: news, soap operas, advertisements, children’s or even adult programs portray an extravagant and consumptive lifestyle which gives a very strong impression of scenes filled with violence. Almost every television channel in Indonesia broadcasts scenes which are marked by physical and emotional conflicts and gender stereotypes which are not beneficial for young girls between, for example, members of the family, or parents who are constantly angry, while the victim is (usually) a girl. The effects which are picked up from programs which are full of violence such as these still needs to be studied. One research finding has discovered that children who are familiar with violent scenes have a tendency to conduct violent acts once they are adults. This makes sense because the first five years of a child’s life are greatly influenced by their immediate surroundings, such as family, school environment, and social interaction. It so happens that a very influential friend in the alteration of child behavior and development is the mass media.


At the present stage of development, we cannot exempt ourselves from the need for mass media, whether printed or electronic, especially television. For that reason TV is expected to take up some missions which will have an effect upon child development: First, TV must have a mission to promote values which are constructive for children. Children are (still) able to be recruited as talented actors, as long as they do not always give the impression that they are being exploited while playing in a particular scene. Give them a role which matches with the enthusiasm of childhood of children their age, packaged as ‘back to their nature’ and in an free, natural atmosphere, just as it occurs on a daily basis. Although they have a commercial potential, don’t go so far as to make them feel that they have lost their childhood because of an overburdening shooting schedule. Second, TV represents a media which is effective for socializing equality and justice between the genders. Gender stereotyping which is conducted by the mass media becomes a barrier for girls to optimize their potential in the future. Advertisements on TV still often show girls in domestic stereotypes: for example, there is a public service announcement which provides the message that “kids should stay in school during the crisis period” which still shows a mother who says that she is just going to have her daughter married, while her son is expected to work, providing for the family, and so on. This does not build the image of gender equality. For that reason, television has an important capacity for increasing women’s perspective. This is because the 21st century represents and era of global competition which emphasizes the quality and professionalism of a person without viewing their gender. Third, TV also has the function of being a media of control regarding unjust acts directed towards women which take place in the family, the society and even what is done by the state, which can be done by promoting the values of justice which are packaged attractively and proportionally.

Dear guests,

In the present era of reformation, the faucet of openness has already been opened, and there is no one who is curbing the freedom of expression. For that reason, several methods to eliminate the negative effects of TV, and to increase its positive influence, necessitate an internal cultivation and control, together with the giving of input between organizations, whether it be for the government, NGO’s and other social elements, so that the television world produces products with a high educative and artistic value.

Thus goes the address which I convey to you. Hopefully it is of benefit.

May peace be upon you, as well as the God’s Mercy and Blessing.

The State Minister for Women’s Empowerment of the Republic of Indonesia Hj. Khofifah Indar Parawansa

The Minister of Law and Legislation of the Republic of Indonesia
Exploitation of Women and Children on Television: Its Implementation and Legal Apparatus.
Prof. Dr. Yusril Ihza Mahendra

Dear respected guests,

May peace be upon you, as well as the God’s Mercy and Blessing.

On this happy occasion, please allow me call for the sending of praise and thanks to God, the All-Powerful, for the uncountable blessings which are showed upon us in abundance, including the blessing of physical health on this day, so that we are able to meet and gather to participate in this discussion about the “Exploitation of Children and Women in Reporting on Television.”

The initiative of the Organization of the Dynamic Civil Society (LDMM) to hold a national seminar on this day with the theme of the Exploitation of Children and Women on Television deserves recognition in the midst of the influence of the rapid developments of information technology and communication in the electronic mass media in Indonesia. In connection with this theme, the Organizing Committee has asked me to speak regarding: “Its Implementation and Legal Apparatus.” According to me, this topic reflects heightened attention of children and women in the mass media world of television, because programs which are offered by television often involve children and women.

The ‘Exploitation of Women and Children on Television: Its Implementation and Legal Apparatus” is hereby presented on July 27, 2000, which is organized by LDMM at Hotel Wisata, Jakarta.

As we all know, the electronic mass media, such as television, carries with it several objectives, as a medium of entertainment. Several programs regarding this matter treat children and women as objects, and the treatment they receive, if measured from values which exist in society, is often inharmonious. This reality has been able to come about as a result of the lack of growth of an equal perception between those are submersed in the entertainment world regarding the rank/dignity and value of children and women, which has already been guaranteed in several regulations found in legislation.

Together with the effort to advance protective measures regarding their rank and dignity, the Government has already issued Law Number 7, 1984, about the Ratification of the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Law Number 4, 1979 about Child Welfare, Presidential Decree Number 36, 1990 about the Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and also in the Criminal Code there are also found other stipulation, such as Article 282.

In the Criminal Code, which is now being prepared by the Government to replace the current one, regulations which give greater protection to children and women have already been included within it, such as in Article 378 of the Criminal Code Bill.

Dear respected guests,

Treatment of children and women which is not in line with that which has already been regulated in several legislative mechanisms, on principle can be affected by those regulations, and increased efforts are continually being carried out by the Government, among others, the realization of a legislative regulation in connection with protection of children and women.

Thus goes my address for this seminar. It is my hope that the result of this seminar will be useful for all of us.

May peace be upon you, as well as the God’s Mercy and Blessing.

Jakarta, July 27, 2000.

Signed, The Minister of Law and Legislation of the Republic of Indonesia

Prof. Dr. Yusril Ihza Mahendra

Some participants enjoying the seminar:
The Minister of Law and Legislation

The speakers (panel 1 & 2) and group photos.

A group shot of the organizing committee and some participants and speakers.

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This page last updated September 27, 2000