Cablegate: Indonesia Anti-Trafficking in Persons (Tip)


DE RUEHJA #0672/01 0671008
R 081008Z MAR 07






E.O. 12958: N/A
REPORT, March 2005 to March 2006

REF: A. STATE 17811

B. 06 JAKARTA 13324
C. 06 JAKARTA 2849
D. 05 JAKARTA 12001


1. (SBU) Indonesia remained a major sending country for international
trafficking in persons (TIP) and faced a very significant internal
trafficking problem. Indonesia was also a receiving country for
trafficked prostitutes, though their numbers were very small relative t
Indonesian victims. The Government of Indonesia (GOI) recognized
trafficking as a crime and a serious national issue, and took
significant strides this year in law enforcement, against
corruption-related complicity, and by completing a final draft in
February 2007 of a strong, comprehensive anti-trafficking
bill. Indonesia has not, however, met minimal TIP standards under U.S.

2. (SBU) Indonesia achieved modest to significant progress in
combating trafficking in specific areas over the past year, with strong
political will evident at top levels of government and at many local
levels. The House of Representatives (DPR) completed the final draft i
February 2007 on a strong comprehensive anti-trafficking bill, which is
scheduled for consideration by the full House and likely passage on
March 20, 2007.

This bill is expected to give law enforcement the clear mandate needed
to go after all forms of trafficking, including debt bondage and sexual
exploitation. The Yudhoyono administration's political will to
eliminate trafficking was demonstrated in the past year. In August
2006, President Yudhoyono issued a presidential decree on reform policy
on placement and protection system of Indonesian migrant workers to
provide more comprehensive protection of migrant workers and better
coordination among agencies. The President furthermore has appointed
senior level officials in key positions with clear instructions to
eliminate trafficking, resulting in noticeable progress.

3. (SBU) Law enforcement against traffickers increased in 2006 over
2005, with arrests up 29 percent from 110 to 142, prosecutions up 87
percent from 30 to 56, and convictions up 112 percent from 17 to 36.
The average sentence in these cases was 54 months in prison compared to
30 months in 2005, a 55 percent increase. The government trained over a
thousand law enforcement officials on fighting trafficking, oftentimes
in inter-agency courses also attended by NGOs. The numbers of special
anti-trafficking police and prosecutors increased. The National Plan
of Action (NPA) bore fruit in more effective national coordination. As
President Yudhoyono's clear stance on clean government filtered down
this year through the ranks, corrupt officials complicit in trafficking
have been fired, prosecuted or transferred, an opening salvo against
official impunity.
Cooperation among various government offices and international NGOs at
Indonesian diplomatic missions in key sending areas resulted in an
increase of rescued victims, and more humane repatriation. Ministry of
Manpower and national police took initial steps to cooperate in
providing protection of trafficked migrant workers by signing a Februar
2007 MOU which provides for joint enforcement at all transit airports
and ports.

Under the 2006 Presidential migrant worker protection decree, an agency
to place and protect Indonesian migrant workers began operating in
early 2007 with an initial inter-agency meeting and public policy
statements promising to protect workers from exploitation. Under MOUs
with international donors, the GOI began funding this year the
psychological rehabilitation of trafficking victims, a third or more of
the cost of their medical treatment, and health services in Malaysia, i
addition to the law enforcement costs of dozens of police investigators
and prosecutors dedicated to trafficking at the national level, as well
as a significant increase in local anti-trafficking police units across
the country. The number of women's police desks helping victims
skyrocketed to 280 in 2006, while national trafficking police

investigators nearly doubled to 20.

4. (SBU) Significant progress in a comprehensive and coordinated
attack on trafficking took place at the provincial and local levels as
NPA local task forces took root in communities across the country, 17 a
last count. Local task forces resulted in good cooperation among law
enforcement agencies, social service providers and NGOs in many
communities as these task forces met frequently. Some provincial
governments contributed funding to anti-trafficking efforts and also
passed local laws to protect citizens from trafficking, not waiting for
the passage of national legislation. These efforts took place both
under the leadership of the national Ministry of Women's Empowerment an
spontaneously at the local levels due to grassroots civil society
campaigns. Brisk media coverage of trafficking continued, led by both
government and NGO campaigns. The GOI made good progress in sheltering
victims abroad, repatriating victims and expanding victim services for
both externally and internally trafficked persons. A fourth integrated
medical recovery center opened to treat victims.

5. (SBU) Indonesia made limited or no headway on other difficult anti-
trafficking steps. Illegal involvement of individual security force
members and corrupt officials in prostitution linked to trafficking
remained unchecked. Progress is just beginning to curb corruption that
allows Indonesians to be easily trafficked abroad, last year's efforts
focusing on children and to a lesser extent on women. While the
Ministry of Manpower continued crackdowns on illegal activities of
migrant manpower agencies, there was no official recognition of the
reality that Indonesia's migrant worker system does not protect workers
from exploitation, debt bondage and other abuses. The numbers of cases
of severe abuse of trafficked victims overseas, particularly those in
Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, remained alarming. An MOU with Malaysia
signed in May 2006 ceded some basic workers' rights to employers making
it easier for Indonesians to be trapped in human bondage. Government
spending on trafficking is far from covering minimal needs, and there i
an urgent need for the government to take over services now being funde
by foreign governments and international NGOs.

6. (SBU) Within the context of the country's emerging democracy,
Indonesia's anti-trafficking commitment faced the same serious
constraints affecting other issues of national importance: endemic
corruption, the weakness of government structures and law enforcement a
all levels, limited public budgets, poverty, a weak public education
system, and competing priorities from other urgent issues.
Nevertheless, Indonesia made some significant gains in the fight agains
trafficking in persons . Indonesia continued to welcome and cooperate
with international anti-Trafficking assistance, and anti-trafficking
partnership with the U.S. Mission and U.S. grantees remained strong.

7. (SBU) Indonesia has made important strides in trafficking, all the
more so if the anti-trafficking bill passes in March 2007, but will
still need to address some major hurdles:

--Implementation of the anti-trafficking law, which will require both
continued political will and socializing the law among law enforcement
officials and civil society. Indonesia will need continued
international support in this effort.
--Greatly accelerated efforts to combat the corruption that feeds
trafficking, particularly among law enforcement officials, including
the military and ministry of manpower officials.
--Increased GOI funding for law enforcement against traffickers and for
rescue, recovery and reintegration of victims. At the same time, this
is a great financial burden for a country struggling with so many other
pressing issues. International support will be required for the next
few years to allow the GOI time to budget for these needs.
--A migrant manpower recruitment and placement system that protects
and benefits the workers rather than exploiting them to the benefit of
the manpower agencies and employers.
--Much greater awareness of the trafficking problem and cooperation in
combating it by a few receiving countries which account for the vast
majority of human bondage of Indonesians.
--More exploration of the issue of debt bondage by domestic workers
within Indonesia, particularly children, and enforcement of existing
laws to protect those workers. End Summary.


8. (U) The U.S. Mission in Indonesia contacted and received
information from many GOI sources specifically for the preparation of
this report, including: the People's Welfare Coordinating Ministry, th
Women's Empowerment Ministry (hereinafter the Women's Ministry), the
National Police (POLRI), the Attorney General's Office (AGO), the
Manpower and Transmigration Ministry (the Manpower Ministry), and a
number of local government offices, including in East Java and North
Sumatra. Valuable information came from international and domestic NGOs
including the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC), the
American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS), Save the
Children- USA, and The Asia Foundation. Mission research also included
valuable input from international organizations such as the
International Labor Organization (ILO), UNICEF, and the International
Organization for Migration (IOM), the latter of which was particularly
helpful in providing law enforcement statistics. A breakdown of Mission
hours spent in preparation of the report will follow separately.

9. (U) The report text follows the general outline of themes and
questions provided in ref A instructions. Each section begins with a
capsule "update" that briefly summarizes the most important new
information included in the text.

10. (U) The Jakarta Mission point of contact on the TIP issue is
Political Officer Stanley Harsha, tel. (62) 21-3435-9146, fax (62)

11. (SBU) Report text:



The past year did not witness significant change in overall trafficking
patterns in Indonesia. There is a continuous trend of Indonesians seek
ing work abroad as high unemployment and poverty pushes workers

The GOI curtailed the practice of allowing young women to travel to
Japan under the guise of "cultural performers," according to
immigration and Women's Empowerment Ministry officials, resulting in a
decrease in reported trafficked women in Japan. Anti-trafficking polic
complained during a February 2007 meeting that the problem persists of
West Kalimantan women being trafficked to Taiwan as contract brides who
end up either being forced into prostitution or used by their spouses
for a couple of years and then sent home; a November 2006 ACILS/ICMC
report "When They Were Sold" confirms this. According to NGOs, export
of "cultural performers" to Japan, who oftentimes end up being
trafficked into prostitution, persisted despite official claims that
this type of practice was stopped in 2006. Ministry of Manpower
statistics on problems with workers returning from Taiwan and Singapore
document a high number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases.
Reports have begun trickling into NGOs of women displaced by a mudflow
disaster near Surabaya being forced into prostitution because of
economic hardship, but it was too early to document this. Domestic
trafficking continued to be concentrated in prostitution, with rampant
complicity by security officials. An Atma Jaya University study in late
2006 documented illegal methods used by manpower agencies to keep
workers in debt bondage from the time they are recruited, also
documented by ACILS/ICMC. The Ministry of Manpower remained passive
this year in stopping these and other abuses, its raids on manpower
agencies having no effect on trafficking. Cases of severe abuse of
Indonesians trafficked abroad, particularly to Malaysia and Saudi
Arabia, continued unabated. The GOI made significant progress in
efforts by its Mission in Malaysia to protect, treat and repatriate


A new witness protection law enacted in August, 2006 should give
prosecutors more leeway in providing testimony against traffickers
while protecting victims by such means as allowing use of videotaped
testimony. Many local governments and communities became galvanized to
stop trafficking in 2006 as public consciousness grew perceptibly. A
number of provincial and local governments passed anti-trafficking or
women and child protection laws. Local governments also increased
funding for prevention and treatment, and are carrying out coordinated
efforts between civil society and government. Civil society across
Indonesia kept the media spotlight on trafficking, resulting in many
in-depth reports on television and in print. The visits to Indonesia b
TIP envoy Ambassador John Miller and a UN special envoy brought
attention to crucial trafficking issues to officials and the public,
while U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Lynn Pascoe raised the trafficking
problem and the urgent need to pass the anti-trafficking bill during
numerous meetings with several ministers. The message that trafficking
is a top bilateral issue and multilateral issue for the U.S. was clearl
appreciated by all relevant senior government officials.

President Yudhoyono took action to protect migrant workers through an
August 2006 decree to provide them more comprehensive protection and
by giving strong messages to senior officials to eliminate trafficking.

Honest, conscientious officials were appointed at senior levels with
the political will to carry through. For the first time this year,
significant numbers of police, prosecutors and immigration officials
understood the wider meaning of human trafficking and began working
together, and this education process began reaching hundreds of judges.
Under the leadership of the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and a
Parliamentary special committee on anti-trafficking, work on the
comprehensive anti-trafficking bill proceeded at a feverish pace from
October to date, fully taking on board civil society's suggestions to
strengthen the legislation.
The bill was delayed only by final efforts to ensure the bill's
language would cover all the crucial elements and could be clearly
understood by law enforcers. Indonesian and international NGOs deemed
the bill to be strong in all major aspects. The bill is now scheduled
for final debate and possible passage on March 20.

For the third year in a row, the Ministry of Women's Empowerment
published a report in 2006 on efforts to fight trafficking covering the
period of April 2005 to March 2006. The GOI reported for the first
time this year the anti-trafficking budget for the Ministries of Women'
Empowerment and the Coordinating Ministry for Social Welfare, totaling
$4.8 million for 2007. End update.

--------------------------------------------- -

Indonesia, a developing country and emerging democracy with the world's
fourth largest population, is a place of origin for a significant
number of internationally trafficked women and children, and to a lesse
extent men. Indonesia is also a transit and destination country for
international trafficking, although foreign victims are very small in
number relative to Indonesian victims. Very significant incidents of
trafficking occur within Indonesia's borders, including for
prostitution. Different regions of the country are identifiable as
sending, transit and/or receiving areas for internal as well as
international trafficking. There were no reports during this period of
trafficking in territory outside of GOI control.

Source region, transit region and receiving region of trafficking in
persons in Indonesia
--------------------------------------------- -----


Source regions: Various official data and observations by ACILS/ICMC
(November 2006, When They Were Sold) indicate that all provinces of
Indonesia are both sources and destinations. An ACILS analysis of
Department of Social Affairs data on women and girls entering
prostitution in 1994-95 and 2004 found it difficult to draw any firm
conclusions. The biggest increase in prostitution in recent years has
been into South Sumatra and Bangka Belitung, followed by Jakarta, Riau
and Riau Islands. However, places which traditionally have had high
levels of prostitution such as East Java and West Kalimantan continue
to be destinations for traffickers even if the absolute numbers of
prostitutes is not increasing because of the high replacement rate of
prostitutes in such places. On the other hand, in more isolated places
such as Bangka Belitung, Riau Islands, Halmahera, Moluccas and Papua,
traffickers find it easier to isolate and hold women and girls in
captivity, the ACILS study points out.

Eastern Indonesia continues to be a source area, transit point and
destination for victims of human trafficking. East and Central Java,
North Sulawesi, Bali and Nusa Tenggaram, East Kalimantan and West
Kalimantan provinces are among the source areas for both domestic and
international human trafficking. East Java and Central Sulawesi are
transit points and used for "socialization" of women being trafficked
for commercial sex work domestically and around Southeast Asia.
Surabaya and Bali remain destinations for domestic trafficking victims
for both commercial sex work and child labor.

Transit regions: A November 2006 ACILS report concludes that most
trafficking to Malaysia and Singapore follows two major routes, known
as the eastern and western corridors. The western corridor is composed
of two departure points: Batam Island, Riau and Entikong, West
Kalimantan for travel by air from Kuching to Kuala Lumpur. Nunukan,
East Kalimantan is the eastern corridor departure point to Malaysia and
Brunei. There are various air, sea and land routes from other points in
Indonesia to these departure points. Domestic trafficking routes are
varied and not well defined. Receiving regions: According to latest
available IOM statistics covering March 2005 to October 2006 of 1,650
victims it has assisted, the destinations were as follows:

Destination Freq Percent
Malaysia 856 63
Indonesia 432 32
Saudi Arabia 41 3
Japan 15 1
Syria 8 1
Kuwait 4 0

--------------------------------------------- -----
Types of Problems Saudi Kuwait UAE Taiwan Malaysia Singapore
--------------------------------------------- ----
Salaries not paid 895 208 156 30 47 34
Sexually abused 707 47 62 43 17 18
Abused 668 93 91 61 47 36
Work not in accordance
with training/promises
625 92 80 283 91 108
injured at work 769 73 72 103 110 64
--------------------------------------------- -
End update.


Reliable statistics or estimates of the overall number of victims
remain unavailable, in large part because of the illegal and informal
nature of trafficking, the lack of systematic research, and frequent
definitional problems. The sources available for information on the
prevalence of TIP include GOI agencies (particularly the Women's
Ministry and the People's Welfare Coordinating Ministry), domestic and
international NGOs and international organizations, including UNICEF,
IOM and ILO. Most organizations' estimates rely upon a combination of
extrapolation, field experience, press reports and anecdotal evidence.
Some of these organizations will not provide estimates due to the
uncertainty of their information. Definitional problems, often
including a lack of distinction between humaQtrafficking, lesser abuse

of workers, and illegal migration make some estimates very unreliable.
Crude estimates of the prevalence of TIP vary tremendously, but most
indicate the number of victims in the upper tens of thousands or higher
. In past years, GOI documents referenced various estimates of the tota
number of victims, usually in the hundreds of thousands, without
providing details for these figures. The GOI's 2005-2006 TIP report
did not offer an estimate of victims. GOI officials charged with the
issue state that they do not have reliable, overall estimates of the
number of victims.
Other non-governmental estimates of the overall number of TIP victims
exist, but do not have a strong basis in systematic research. Migrant
worker advocacy groups occasionally cited very high and seemingly
inaccurate numbers. To the extent that such organizations do not
differentiate between trafficking and lesser abuses of migrant workers,
their figures represent gross overestimates.



While reliable figures do not exist, many anti-trafficking
organizations believe the number of victims of internal trafficking
exceeds the number of Indonesians trafficked overseas. The U.S.
Mission's observations support this conclusion. Internal trafficking is
largely in prostitution.
Exploitation and abuse of children in the fishing industry and of women
and girls in domestic servitude are serious abuses as reported in a
June 2003 Human Rights Watch report and a February 2007 Amnesty
International report, but links to trafficking are not extensive.
As ACILS reports (November 2006 "When They Were Sold"), the movement of
women and girls is more aided by friends and relatives than by
professional recruiters, and the lack of an elaborate recruiting
process and fees paid by employers prohibits large profits by would be

Forced labor and worst forms of child labor better describes the
situation in the fishing industry and domestic servitude than does
trafficking. End update.


Some groups have developed boundary estimates for groups vulnerable to
trafficking. ICMC and ACILS, in their 2003 book entitled "Trafficking
of Women and Children in Indonesia," identified three categories that
generate the greatest number of TIP victims: female migrant workers,
prostitutes and child domestic workers. (There are other categories
that also generate TIP victims, but not are included in these ICMC/ACIL
boundary estimates.) ICMC/ACILS estimated that between 2.4 to 3.7
million women and children worked in these sectors. Within these
boundaries, the total number of children ranges from 254,000 to 422,000
. ICMC/ACILS point out that these are not estimates of the number of
victims (for example, most female migrant workers are not trafficked),
but they do provide an indication of the potential impact of traffickin
on a large number of women and children.

--------------------------------------------- ----
--------------------------------------------- ----
SECTOR Women Children Children
------ -------------- --------
In-country Sex
Workers 130k - 240k 39k - 72k
Female Migrant
Workers 1.4 - 2.1 mil. n/a
In-country domestic
workers 860k - 1.4 mil. 215k - 350k
--------------- -----------
2.4 - 3.7 mil. 254k - 422k
--------------------------------------------- -----


Prostitution constitutes a major source of concern for TIP in Indonesia
due to the number of women and children involved; the clandestine,
abusive and often forced nature of this work; the prevalence of
organized crime; and the frequent awareness and/or complicity of
officials and security forces (police and military) in prostitution.
The boundary estimates for domestic sex workers are somewhat more
precise than for other areas. ICMC/ACILS in 2003 estimated between
130,000 to 240,000 in-country prostitutes. A number of studies have
consistently found that on average children make up some 25 to 30
percent of persons working as prostitutes. Using 30 percent, ICMC/ACILS
arrives at boundary estimates of some 39,000 to 72,000 child
prostitutes. This range also corresponds generally with a UNICEF
estimate. Underage prostitutes (those under 18 years of age) are by
definition TIP victims under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of

The ILO generated data on the incidence of the worst forms of child
labor, including child trafficking for prostitution, through a series o
"rapid assessments" conducted in 2003. The ILO carried out the
assessments in limited geographic areas of concern for specific types o
child labor. For child trafficking into prostitution, the ILO assessmen
focused on Java, home to 60 percent of Indonesia's population. The ILO
field research generated "best guess" estimates for child prostitutes i
these provinces, noted in Table 2.

--------------------------------------------- ---

-------- ----------- -------- --------
West Java: 31,380 9,000 29
Jakarta: 28,620 5,100 18
East Java: 14,279 4,081 29
Central Java: 8,495 3,177 37
Yogyakarta 1,106 194 18
----------- -------- --------
83,880 21,552 26

--------------------------------------------- ---


In remote Papua, a 2005 ICMC field study estimated that there were over
3,000 internally trafficked women and girls in the sex trade, including
some 1,000 child prostitutes, in the area's seven largest population
centers. Almost all child street prostitutes were of Papuan origin. In
contrast, most victims in karaoke bars and brothels originated from
Indonesian areas outside Papua, with the greatest number coming from
North Sulawesi. The victims normally arrived by ship, often with false
promises of employment. Internal migrant workers generated much of the
demand for prostitution. Geographic isolation, economic
underdevelopment, and lack of civil society concern increased the
severity of trafficking conditions in Papua.


Riau Progress Limited

The Riau islands including Batam, Tanjung Pinang, Bintan and Karimun,
a transit and destination area, did not make substantial progress in 20
06. In Batam, the results of anti-trafficking activities have been

mixed. NGOs report

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