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Cablegate: Eastern Indonesia: Anti-Trafficking Efforts in Lombok

VZCZCXRO4991
RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJS #0045 2760701
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 030701Z OCT 07
FM AMCONSUL SURABAYA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0065
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 0058
RUEHJS/AMCONSUL SURABAYA 0067

UNCLAS SURABAYA 000045

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON PHUM PGOV ELAB KWMN SMIG ID
SUBJECT: EASTERN INDONESIA: ANTI-TRAFFICKING EFFORTS IN LOMBOK

REF: SURABAYA 33

This Message is Sensitive but Unclassified. Please Protect
Accordingly.

1. (SBU) Consulate General Surabaya Pol/Econ Officer and
Pol/Econ Assistant assessed anti-human trafficking efforts
during a visit to the island of Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara
(NTB), September 11-13. Anti-trafficking NGOs described poor
coordination of anti-trafficking activities and victims'
assistance between NGOs, provincial social services, and police.
Adding to problems within the anti-trafficking community, at
least one provincial parliamentarian is reported to have been
directly responsible for intimidating drafters of local
anti-trafficking legislation.

"There is No Trafficking Here"
-------------------------------

2. (SBU) Lombok -- a poor, agrarian and predominantly Muslim
part of NTB -- is trying to become better known as a destination
for foreign tourists than for its tobacco fields and legions of
overseas workers. NTB currently ranks second after East Java as
a supplier of overseas workers. A hopeful billboard at Lombok's
airport reads, "Welcome to Lombok, Bali's Sister Island."
Officials in the provincial capital say that tourist trade has
yet to make inroads beyond beaches such as Sengigi, located in
Western Lombok nearest Bali. Provincial social services
officers cited a weak educational system and few employment
opportunities outside the agricultural sector as key drivers for
the labor outflow.

3. (SBU) Lombok ranks near the bottom on most socio-economic
indicators, including literacy, education levels and
expenditure per capita. This pushes tens of thousands of
residents to migrate each year in search of a better job and
income, making them vulnerable to trafficking. According to GOI
statistics, some one in 11 migrant workers originated from
Lombok in 2005, compared with the fact that only one in 58
Indonesians are from Lombok.

4. (SBU) In recognition of NTB's growing trafficking problem,
NTB has established a Provincial Action Committee for combating
trafficking, child labor and child prostitution. However,
anti-Trafficking NGOs report that corruption and conflict of
interest among several provincial parliamentarians have rendered
the Committee ineffective. Indeed, provincial officials,
including the Governor, Mr. H. Lalu Serinate, are described as
the key stumbling blocks to progress against human trafficking.
According to anti-trafficking NGO Panca Karsa, on the same day
that Governor Serinate stated publicly that "there is no
trafficking problem here," Panca Karsa was assisting 12 new
trafficking victims in its shelters.

Provincial Interference
-----------------------

5. (SBU) One NGO reported that a provincial assembly member in
charge of regulating worker recruitment practices is himself an
investor in a placement agency. When a legal drafting team
comprised of provincial officials and NGO lawyers held meetings
during the drafting process, "hired thugs" burst into their
meeting and threatened to beat them up if they did not stop.
Drafting team members were certain that the thugs worked for
local placement agencies and were sent there to intimidate them.

6. (SBU) At the local level, there is widespread recognition
of the need to tighten regulations on recruiting by placement
agencies. Improved legislation is moving slowly forward at the
sub-provincial level with varying degrees of progress. Despite
some access to training and funds, the NTB-based NGOs we spoke
with reported difficulty in coordinating province-wide
anti-trafficking efforts. Differences in focus and expertise
were cited as significant barriers to creating an effective
overall strategy. The NGOs requested U.S. assistance to help
jump start these efforts and encourage greater cooperation and
coordination. Panca Karsa is the recipient of a small grant
from the Department of State through DRL. Beauty Erawati, the
director of LPH APIK (Associasi Perempuan Indonesia untuk
Keadilan dan Demokrasi) will soon be traveling to the U.S. on an
international visitor's program grant.

MCCLELLAND

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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