• 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

  • 3,594,000 People exposed [?]
  • 36 Fatalities reported [?]



The OPM (Free Papua Movement) has led an insurgency movement calling for the independence of Papua and West Papua provinces, which comprise the western half of the island of New Guinea, since the early 1960s when Indonesia annexed the Dutch-controlled territory.?The Indonesian government has been consistently accused of human rights violations and violent suppression of the movement.?

The insurgency has long been the excuse for military involvement in Papua.?With the heightened police and military presence, there have been reports of security force abuses including extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary detention, and mistreatment of peaceful protesters.?Indonesian security forces rarely face justice for abuses in Papua.?

Violence increased in late 2018 after separatists killed 19 construction workers who were building the highly contentious Trans-Papua Highway in Nduga regency in December. Tens of thousands of people were reportedly internally displaced by conflict between December 2018 and February 2019. Violence has continued, and 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: 6,000 military personnel deployed to the region, an internet slowdown was established, 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 due to the unrest.?

There is no severity score for this crisis due to information gaps on humanitarian needs and conditions.

INFORM measures Indonesia's risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster to be medium, at 4.7/10.?

Latest Developments


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

ACAPS' team is daily monitoring the impact of COVID-19. Find more information related to the outbreak here.

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. Food and water are lacking, and some reports suggest over 100 IDPs died from malnutrition in July 2019.?

Education: Displaced children have unmet education needs, as schools have been damaged in clashes and they often avoid school for fear of being caught up in violence. School buildings are also being used as military outposts for armed groups.?

Information Gaps and Needs


The total number of people displaced since December is unclear, with estimates varying from 32,000 to over 37,000. Information on the affected populations’ needs and the severity of their needs, as well as the response, is also limited.

Updated information regarding the protests since August 2019, such as size, locations, and impact, is limited. The implementation of an internet slowdown in September and the Indonesian government's tight restrictions on foreign NGOs, media agencies, and human rights organizations in the Papuan Provinces has constrained access and information.?

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