KontraS, which was established on March 20, 1998, is a task force formed by a number of civil society organizations and community leaders. The task force was originally named KIP-HAM (Independent Human Rights Monitor Commission), which was formed in 1996. As a commission that works to monitor human rights issues, KIP-HAM received many complaints and input from the community, both victims and communities who eager to express their aspirations about human rights problems that occurred in region. At first KIP-HAM only received a number of complaints through letters and telephone contacts from the community. But over time some of the victims became more courage to submit complaints directly to the KIP-HAM secretariat.
In several meetings with victims' communities, the idea was to form an institution that specifically handled the cases of enforced disappearances as a response to the continuing practice of violence and claimed many victims. At that time a mother named Tuti Koto proposed the establishment of this special body. Furthermore, it was agreed to form a
commission to handle an enforced disappearances and victims of violence under the name KontraS.
In its journey KontraS not only dealt with the issue of abduction and disappearances, but also was asked by the victims community to handle various forms of violence that occurred both vertically in Aceh, Papua and East Timor and horizontally such as in Maluku, Sambas, Sampit and Poso. Furthermore, it developed into an independent organization and participated in various occasion in dismantling the practices of violence and human rights violations as a result of abuse of power.
In re-formulating its role and position, KontraS reaffirmed its vision and mission to participate in the defend for democracy and human rights together with other civil society movement entities. More specifically, all the potential and energy possessed by KontraS are directed to encourage the development of the characteristics of a system and state life that
is civil and political away from the violence approaches. Both approaches to violence are born from the principles of militarism as a political system, behavior and culture. This means that violence here is not merely a matter of military intervention in political life. However, it further concerns the structural, cultural and relations between social communities, social
groups and between social strata that promote violence and its symbols.
In 2004, KontraS, KontraS Aceh, KontraS Papua, KontraS North Sumatra agreed to create KontraS Federation Council as an organization to coordinate the whole member activities.
In the international level KontraS is a part of these organizations membership: