Cablegate: Ngos Rate Surabaya's Official Efforts to Combat Tip: Police

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1. (SBU) Summary. Representatives of local NGOs gave Surabaya's
official efforts to combat trafficking in persons a failing
grade overall. While generally praising the efforts of the
police, the NGOs said the police were too under-resourced to be
truly effective. The NGOs universally criticized the
performance of both prosecutors and judges. Noting the
improvement in police performance following USG-provided
training, the NGOs stressed that establishing and training
special units in both the prosecutor's office and the courts was
critical to success. The Surabaya City government is
establishing a Trafficking Task Force to monitor and coordinate
action between the NGOs, police, prosecutors and courts. OPDAT
plans to bring TIP training for prosecutors and police to
Surabaya in January 2010. A TIP-focused IVLP comprised of
police, prosecutors, and NGO reps will occur in FY-2010. End

NGOs Give Police Mixed Marks

2. (SBU) During a recent meeting with Surabaya Pol/Econ Officer,
representatives of several local NGOs active in combating human
trafficking and assisting its victims observed that the police
in Surabaya have a better understanding about Indonesian
trafficking laws and handle trafficking cases better than either
public prosecutors or judges. They gave credit to training the
police have received in recent years for the police's
performance. In particular, the representatives emphasized the
usefulness of ICITAP's TIP training during 2006-2007. This
training focused on increasing the police's awareness of
trafficking and the national trafficking law and other related
regulations and put NGOs and police in the same forum to
encourage joint cooperation which has been severely lacking in
the past.

3. (SBU) The NGO reps added that Surabaya police further
developed their counter-TIP capabilities by committing resources
to the problem. However, they emphasized that this is not the
case in other areas in East Java and in the eastern part of
Indonesia. Fery, a representative of the Genta Foundation, which
operates a shelter for trafficking victims, observed that a
police precinct in Trenggalek, East Java, has only one police
officer to handle every kind of case from murder to illegal
logging to trafficking. Fery observed that this lack of
personnel leaves the police officer with no time to read and
understand the trafficking law, which negatively impacts his
ability to enforce it.

Corruption Still a Problem

4. (SBU). The NGOs noted that Surabaya police officers were not
universally committed to combating TIP. Yoris, a representative
from the Hotline Foundation, which operates in a major red-light
district assisting sex workers with health and reproductive
issues, said that while police in Surabaya understand the
trafficking law and how to apply it, some of them do not want to
apply the law due to corruption. According to Yoris, one method
for police to get around the Trafficking Law is to instead use
the Criminal Code, Labor Law, and the Child Protection Law in
trafficking cases, which results in a lighter sentence for the
trafficker. While bribery in trafficking cases involving police
officers could be reported to a designated office in police
headquarters, the NGO representatives expressed concern that if
they were to report corruption then police would stop providing
NGOs information and granting them the access necessary to
assist trafficking victims.

5. (SBU) Nur Lailiyah, a representative from the Women's
Pro-Democracy Coalition (KPPD), which focuses on providing
advocacy and assistance for victims of domestic violence and
trafficking as well as increasing female representation in
politics, provided a recent example of police corruption in a
TIP case. According to her, the Tanjung Perak Police at the
Surabaya Port apprehended several individuals on suspicion of
trafficking eleven women from East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) in June.
These individuals were employees of an employment agency that,
according to Nur Lailiyah, fraudulently obtained identity
documents for the eleven women and brought them to Surabaya en
route to Malaysia, where they had been promised jobs as domestic
workers. KPPD helped the victims return home to NTT with the
assistance of the Human Rights Protection Coalition, an NGO

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based there. According to Nur Lailiyah, the police released the
accused traffickers after four days of detention. She said that
the police were unwilling to discuss the outcome of the case
with KPPD. Separately, a representative from the Human Rights
Protection Coalition told Pol-Econ Officer that the employment
agency paid approximately $5,000 each to an undisclosed number
of police officers to release the accused traffickers.

Prosecutors and Judges Panned

6. (SBU) In contrast to their mixed evaluation of the Surabaya
Police, the NGO representatives were universally critical of
both prosecutors and judges. The NGOs stated that the number of
trafficking prosecutions in Surabaya is much lower than the
number of arrests made by the police. The disparity between
prosecutions and arrests is even greater in the rest of Eastern
Indonesia. NGO representatives attribute this disparity to
limited understanding of the trafficking law, limited resources,
and corruption on the part of both the prosecutor's office and
the courts. Unlike police units, which have special Woman and
Children Units to handle trafficking cases, there is no special
entity or designated office within the prosecutor's office to
handle trafficking cases. Furthermore, limited cooperation, and
significant institutional competition between police,
prosecutors, and the courts impedes the trafficking eradication
effort. Nur Lailiyah said that improvement in police
understanding and implementation of the trafficking law will
mean nothing without the support of the prosecutors and judges.
In the view of these NGOs, providing training for, and
supporting the establishment of special units in both
prosecutor's offices and the courts is vital to successfully
combat TIP in Eastern Indonesia.

Optimistic About the Trafficking Task Force
--------------------------------------------- ----------

7. (SBU) The NGOs expressed optimism about the Surabaya City
government's commitment to anti-TIP measures. The Surabaya City
Government is establishing a Trafficking Task Force as required
by the Trafficking Law and Presidential Decree # 69/2008. The
task force will function as a coordinator for advocacy and
monitoring efforts. Members of the task force will include
NGOs, government officials, police officers, port authority
representatives, airport administrators, prosecutors, and
judges. Nur Lailiyah said that the role of the task force will
be significant if it can coordinate and oversee the trafficking
prevention and eradication efforts of the various stakeholders.
She said that all of the organizations involved gave a positive
response to the establishment of the task force, except the
court, which never sent any representative, and the prosecutor's
office, which always sent a different official to each
coordination meeting.

NGO Victim Assistance Efforts

8. (SBU) The NGO representatives all expressed their
understanding that police have an unwritten expectation that
NGOs are only responsible for assisting the trafficking victims
and should not intervene in the legal process. In contrast, the
NGOs believe that making sure that the legal process runs fairly
is part of providing assistance to trafficking victims. To
combat this perception, NGOs work hard to develop personal
relationships with individual police officers to get more access
to the legal process. However, the NGOs noted that frequent
rotations of police officers make this strategy difficult to
implement long term.

9. (SBU) Fery said that assisting victims of trafficking was
complicated by a lack of funding. The provincial East Java
government, for example, only allocates $15 per person to return
trafficking victims to their home villages and only funds skills
training for 25% of the trafficking victims in the province. The
NGOs insist that education and training is necessary to help
trafficking victims become independent economically and avoid
intimidation from employment agencies. Repatriating victims
without providing training creates an opportunity for the
employment agencies to attempt to traffic the victim again. With
limited government support, NGOs take full responsibility to
return and provide training to trafficking victims.

Planned USG TIP Programs

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10. (SBU) Post is arranging TIP training in Surabaya for
prosecutors and police through OPDAT Jakarta in January 2010.
Post has also developed a FY-10 IVLP team comprised of two
police officers, a local prosecutor, and a member of an NGO,
which will focus on combating TIP through visits with U.S.
officials and institutions responsible for TIP enforcement,
prosecution, and education. The Mission Indonesia ICITAP TIP
program has not received new G/TIP funding and will close in
March 2010.

© Scoop Media

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