This research is an intersection between human rights appreciation and policy sustainability in a decentralization context. It examines the Human Rights City initiative in Wonosobo District, Central Java Indonesia. The initiative in Wonosobo is particularly interesting for two reasons. The first being that the Human Rights City initiative is an international call to celebrate human rights while educating people about them. Second, this initiative is being implemented in the context of Indonesian decentralization, which will largely determine the successfulness of such an initiative.
The Human Rights City initiative was established in Gwangju, South Korea. The momentum of Gwangju has been used as platform to develop Human Rights Cities in other countries. In Indonesia, this found expression in the Wonosobo District, Central Java. The district government has issued local regulations as a mechanism to sustain this initiative. However, I argue here that local regulation alone are not enough to ensure its sustainability. The main research question posed by this research is: How is the Human Rights City initiative in Wonosobo sustained? The paper focuses on two major issues regarding sustainability to answer this question. The Indonesian decentralization setting and the local government’s performance in supporting Human Rights city policies.