Indonesia has a population of around 237 million. The government recognizes 365 ethnic and sub-ethnic groups as komunitas adat terpencil (geographically-isolated customary law communities). They number approx. 1.1 million. However, many more peoples consider themselves, or are considered by others, to be indigenous. The national indigenous peoples’ organization, Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN), uses the term masyarakat adat to refer to indigenous peoples. A conservative estimate of the number of indigenous peoples in Indonesia amounts to between 30 and 40 million people.
The third amendment to the Indonesian Constitution recognizes indigenous peoples’ rights in Article 18b-2. In more recent legislation, there is an implicit, though conditional, recognition of some rights of peoples referred to as masyarakat adat or masyarakat hukum adat, such as Act No. 5/1960 on Basic Agrarian Regulation, Act No. 39/1999 on Human Rights, MPR Decree No X/2001 on Agrarian Reform.
Indonesia is a signatory to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Government officials argue, however, that the concept of indigenous peoples is not applicable, as almost all Indonesians (with the exception of the ethnic Chinese) are indigenous and thus entitled to the same rights. Consequently, the government has rejected calls for special treatment by groups identifying themselves as indigenous.
International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, The Indigenous World 2011