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Cablegate: North Sulawesi: Growing Problems in Hiv and Trafficking In

VZCZCXRO7304
RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJS #0046 2780228
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 050228Z OCT 07
FM AMCONSUL SURABAYA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0066
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 0059
RUEHJS/AMCONSUL SURABAYA 0068

UNCLAS SURABAYA 000046

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS, EAP/GTIP, EAP/RSP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON PHUM PGOV ELAB KWMN SMIG ID
SUBJECT: NORTH SULAWESI: GROWING PROBLEMS IN HIV AND TRAFFICKING IN
PERSONS


This message is sensitive, but unclassified. Please protect
accordingly.

1. (SBU) Summary: The head of a local NGO in Manado described
the growing problem of HIV and trafficking in women during
Surabaya Principal Officer's recent visit. In a city that
prides itself on beginning strongly Christian, prostitution has
been forced further underground, making monitoring the incidence
of HIV difficult. Trafficking volume has increased in recent
months for reasons that remain unclear. Local officials,
however, turn a blind eye to the problem, despite sufficient
anti-trafficking legislation. End Summary.

HIV
----

2. (SBU) During a September 25-27 trip to Manado, North
Sulawesi, Surabaya Principal Officer met with Dr. Jane
Pangemanan, Director of "Sahabat Perempuan," a local NGO
dedicated to improving the health of women and children in the
province. Established in 1999 by women activists in Manado to
mitigate the increasing incidence of HIV/AIDS in the region,
Sahabat Perempuan has since expanded its activities to include
combating trafficking in persons. According to Dr. Pangemanan,
there are at least known 1,890 HIV cases in North Sulawesi, but
the provincial government has little interest in the issue.

3. (SBU) Unlike other urban areas, where prostitutes ply their
trade in concentrated areas of town, Manado prostitutes are
working in individual areas scattered throughout the area. Dr.
Pangemanan explained that local officials want to promote
Manado's reputation as a religious, Christian city. Obvious
prostitution would undermine that image. As a result of local
government regulation and enforcement, prostitution is forced
further underground, making it more difficult for NGOs to
monitor the spread of HIV and provide education about the
dangers.

GROWING TIP PROBLEM
----------------------------------

4. (SBU) According to Dr. Pangemanan, the volume of trafficking
has increased dramatically since January. Previously, every
month, two girls from North Sulawesi were trafficked to Papua,
Jakarta, Batam (then to Singapore), Kalimantan, Malaysia and
Japan; now it is more like two girls per week. According to
Sahabat Perempuan's data, between January and September 2007, 80
girls had been trafficked. Dr. Pangemanan offered no specific
insights into why the volume of trafficking was increasing,
other than to note that Manado girls were considered very
desirable in other parts of Southeast Asia. She added that
while economic growth continued, the number of poor was also
increasing.

5. (SBU) Dr. Pangemanan explained that North Sulawesi has strong
anti-trafficking laws, but enforcement is non-existent because
local MPs and the Governor are only interested in issues that
earn money. She criticized the current governor for ignoring
the problems of HIV and trafficking, commenting that he spent
too much time preparing for Manado to host a World Oceans
Conference in 2009 to worry about local issues. The previous
governor and his wife, she said, had been serious in their
approach to these issues.

MCCLELLAND

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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