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Cablegate: Central Java: Contacts Flag Trafficking, Religious

VZCZCXRO5613
RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #2167/01 2210843
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 090843Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5720
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0985
RUEHPB/AMEMBASSY PORT MORESBY 3393
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0649
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 1642
RHHJJPI/USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0649
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 002167

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/PD, DRL/AWH, DRL/PD, INR/EAP,
G/TIP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL KPAO ID
SUBJECT: CENTRAL JAVA: CONTACTS FLAG TRAFFICKING, RELIGIOUS
FREEDOM ISSUES

REF: A. JAKARTA 01525

B. JAKARTA 0552
C. JAKARTA 01649

JAKARTA 00002167 001.2 OF 002


1. (U) This message is Sensitive but Unclassified -- Please
handle accordingly.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY: Poloff and Pol FSN recently traveled to
Semarang, Central Java. Key contacts raised concerns about
human trafficking, but also described positive inter-faith
relations in the Semarang area. Poloff participated in a
panel discussion on gender and family issues at an American
Corner. END SUMMARY.

VISIT TO SEMARANG
=================
3. (U) On July 26-27, Poloff and Pol FSN traveled to
Semarang, Central Java, to investigate human rights issues,
including trafficking in persons, women,s and children,s
issues, and religious freedom. Located on the north coast of
Central Java, the provincial capital of Semarang is home to
approximately 1.5 million people in a province with roughly
35 million people. Given its location on the Java Sea,
Semarang is home to one of Indonesia,s largest ports, a
fading Dutch quarter, and one of Indonesia,s largest Chinese
communities.

FLAGGING TRAFFICKING CONCERNS
=============================
4. (SBU) Poloff and Pol FSN met with representatives from
the Central Java Women and Children Care Network (JPPA), a
consortium of 33 organizations established in 2000. The
representatives told us that trafficking in women and
children, particularly to overseas locations, remains a
problematic issue in Central Java, but one that receives
little attention or funding. They noted that the provincial
government has no official data on trafficking and no
effective mechanism for handling such cases. To fill this
vacuum, the JPPA consortium works with anti-trafficking NGOs
throughout Indonesia to free victims and return them to their
homes. In doing so, it attempts to involve the provincial
government in order to build the government,s capacity and
expertise. Poloff underscored USG concerns about
trafficking, noting USG-sponsored programs focused on
building capabilities. JPPA agreed to remain in touch with
Mission on ways to counter trafficking in the Semarang
region.

5. (U) In addition to working to assist trafficking victims,
the JPPA also advocates on behalf of women political
candidates, conducts training on gender issues in the
provincial legislature, and encourages the provincial
government to implement national laws -- such as the Domestic
Violence Law -- that protect and empower women and children.
The five JPPA representatives we spoke with were critical of
the province,s draft law on child protection, which they
said does not effectively prevent child labor, and they have
lobbied the provincial legislature to change the bill,s
language.

POSITIVE NEWS ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
==================================
6. (SBU) The U.S. team also discussed religious freedom with
Dr. Gregorius Sudargo, head of the Indonesian Catholic Forum
(FMKI) and Coordinator of the Interfaith Forum for Central
Java. Sudargo described Central Java as a province of
relatively peaceful religious coexistence, adding that the
religiously-motivated attacks and discrimination which
sometimes occur in West and East Java are relatively
infrequent. In a separate meeting, Kabul Supriyadie, a human
rights lawyer and judge recently appointed to the Indonesian
Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), echoed Sudargo,s
views, noting that he was unaware of any major challenges to
religious freedom in Central Java.

7. (SBU) One notable example of religious cooperation
occurred two years ago when a group of Christians tried to
establish a new church in Semarang. According to Sudargo,
they encountered resistance from local politicians who

JAKARTA 00002167 002.2 OF 002


refused to grant permission, citing the GOI,s 2006 Joint
Ministerial Decree on Construction of Houses of Worship (Ref
B-C). Leaders from the Semarang branch of Nadatul Ulama
(NU), the largest Muslim social organization in Indonesia,
advocated on behalf of the Christians, however, and the
politicians allowed the church to be built.

8. (U) Despite the generally positive inter-faith
relationships in Central Java, Sudargo noted that radical
religious groups were common in the area around Solo. (Note:
Abu Bakar Ba,asyir co-founded a pesantren in Solo.) He
added that additional attention must be paid to providing
religious instruction at school in all of the Indonesia,s
official religions. Likewise, Kabul Supriyadie of Komnas HAM
expressed the view that the most critical human rights issue
in Indonesia at-large is the protection of religious freedom.
Specifically, he cited continuing attacks and discrimination
against the Ahmadiyah sect, which says it is Muslim, a claim
rejected by many Muslim Sunnis.

VISIT TO AMERICAN CORNER
========================
9. (U) On June 26, Poloff participated in a lively program
on gender and family issues from American, Javanese, and
Middle Eastern perspectives at the American Corner at Islamic
State University (IAIN) Walisongo in Semarang. Despite it
being summer vacation, an audience of approximately 50 male
and female students and educators showed up and remained
engaged throughout the three-hour session, making
sophisticated statements and asking thoughtful questions.
The American Corner facility was comfortable and well-stocked
with English-language books and periodicals as well as
computers with internet access. The IAIN Walisongo staff
involved with the American Corner took great pride in the
facility and boasted that it was the best English-language
resource in the area. In fact, they said that students from
nearby Diponogoro University, a large and prestigious state
university, often come to IAIN to use its resources to
conduct academic research.

HUME

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