• Crisis Severity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 237,655,000 Total population [?]
  • 3,594,000 People affected [?]



The Free Papua Movement has been leading an insurgency movement since the 1960s, which calls for the independence of Papua and West Papua provinces. The insurgency has long been an excuse for military involvement in Papua, with the Indonesian government consistently accused of human rights violations and violent suppression of the movement. There have been reports of extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary detention, looting and burning of villages, and mistreatment of peaceful protesters. Indonesian security forces rarely face justice for abuses in Papua.?

Violence increased in December 2018 after separatists killed 19 construction workers who were building the highly contentious Trans-Papua Highway in Nduga regency. Conflict also escalated in August 2019, when anti-racism protests and widespread violence erupted in the Papuan provinces following the detention and alleged discriminatory treatment of 43 Papuan students on the island of Java. Indonesia implemented a heavy-handed response to the protests: 6,000 military personnel were deployed to the region, an internet slowdown was established, movement restrictions were put in place, and dozens of activists were detained. More than 40 people were killed in riots, and as many as 16,000 non-Papuan migrants from other parts of Indonesia were evacuated from Wamena town because of the unrest. 41,851 indigenous Papuans were reportedly internally displaced by conflict in the regencies of Mimika, Intan Jaya, Puncak, Lanny Jaya, and Nduga between December 2018–March 2020; the conflict was a result of increased militarisation of the region, including higher numbers of deployed troops. Conflict is still ongoing, but information on the situation is limited. There is no severity score for this crisis because of information gaps on humanitarian needs and conditions. The number of people displaced is also difficult to verify. ?

INFORM measures Indonesia's risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster to be medium, at 4.8/10.?

Latest Developments


There are no recent developments. This crisis is being monitored by our analysis team.

The ACAPS team is monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information related to the outbreak, see the ACAPS COVID-19 Project.

Key Priorities


Intersectoral: IDPs are in need of protection, shelter, food, NFIs, and health assistance. Many IDPs suffer from respiratory infections, diarrhoea, and dysentery, as they are unable to access health services. Reports suggest that over 214 IDPs died in 2019 because of these overarching conditions.?

Education: Displaced children have unmet education needs, as schools have been damaged in clashes and children often avoid going to school for fear of being caught up in violence. School buildings are also used as military outposts for armed groups. A number of teachers are reported to have stopped teaching because of active conflict.?

Information Gaps and Needs


The total number of people displaced cannot be confirmed. Limited humanitarian access, and the Indonesian government's tight restrictions on foreign NGOs, media agencies, and human rights organisations in the Papuan provinces have constrained access and information. The implementation of an internet slowdown since September 2020 makes it difficult to assess the humanitarian situation in real time.

Papua Protests (Risk December 2019)


Protests have all but disappeared in Indonesia’s Papuan province. Those responsible for the racial taunts that fuelled the protests in August 2019 have been convicted in the country’s first racism case. However, conflict between supporters of the Free Papua Movement and Indonesian security forces remains a threat to civilians, particularly in the Central Highlands. Since the 2019 protests, widespread arrests and treason charges against Papuan activists have continued and reports of refugee movements into neighbouring Papua New Guinea have surfaced. Arms proliferation in the region and the discovery of caches of weapons indicates the ability of the conflict to further escalate. When outlining the political agenda for 2020, the Indonesian government announced plans to evaluate funding received by the Papuan provinces, as well as the creation of additional provinces within Papua and West Papua. Measures perceived as further encroachments on Papuan autonomy are likely to see another rise in protests and independence-related violence.?

Read the full ACAPS End of Year Report 2019