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Cablegate: Trafficking -- Protecting Migrants a Top Priority

VZCZCXRO2977
OO RUEHDT RUEHPB
DE RUEHJA #1854/01 3130839
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 090839Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3762
INFO RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAWJB/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 001854

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, EAP/RSP, G/TIP, DRL, PRM/RSP
NSC FOR D. WALTON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV ELAB KWMN PREL ID
SUBJECT: TRAFFICKING -- PROTECTING MIGRANTS A TOP PRIORITY
FOR GOI

REF: A. STATE 112504
B. STATE 112185

1. SUMMARY: The GOI has reiterated that protecting
Indonesian migrant labor is a key foreign policy priority.
At a recent conference in Bandung, GOI officials reviewed the
steps that they are taking to protect migrants and to counter
trafficking. Civil society representatives at the event
argued that the government needed to apply more funding
toward anti-trafficking programs and improve coordination
among ministries. Labor Attache helped provide the
international perspective on trafficking involving
Indonesians. The U.S. government was repeatedly cited for
its support of anti-trafficking programs. END SUMMARY.

ENGAGING THE PRIMARY STAKEHOLDERS

2. Representatives from key stakeholders sent
representatives to the October 28-30 GOI conference on
protecting migrants and countering trafficking in persons
held in Bandung, West Java. The 60-plus participants
included officials from the ministries of foreign affairs,
social welfare, manpower, health, women's empowerment,
immigration, law and human rights, and the coordinating
ministry for the people's welfare. Representatives of the
Attorney General's Office, the Supreme Court, and the
national police were also in attendance. A wide variety of
civil society representatives also participated, as did
Interpol. Labatt participated, as did representatives of the
IOM and the UN system.

GOI UNDERLINES IMPORTANCE OF PROTECTING MIGRANT LABOR

3. Indonesian government representatives underscored that
protecting Indonesian migrant labor is a key foreign policy
priority. (Note: Over 10 million Indonesians work
internationally, many of them in the Middle East and
Malaysia.) The Coordinating Ministry of Social Welfare
Director General explained that her ministry had recently
completed a draft national action plan that addressed
countering trafficking in persons. Echoing a similar theme
of high-level governmental concern, an official from the
Ministry of Manpower said his ministry had been spurred to
action in order to address the concerns outlined in the 2009
U.S. TIP report and the 2009 UNODC Global Report on
Trafficking in Persons.

CIVIL SOCIETY PERSPECTIVE

4. Civil society representatives at the event welcomed the
GOI's plans. They underscored the importance of countering
trafficking and the need for the GOI to provide more
protection for migrants. They also argued that the
government needed to apply more funding for anti-trafficking
programs and improve coordination among ministries.
Moreover, it was often not clear at what level of the
government decisions were being made regarding policy and/or
funding.

AN INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE

5. International representatives underscored that the GOI
had made progress, but needed to do even more. Labatt
reviewed recommendations made in the most recent G/TIP report
and stressed that Indonesia should do more to enforce laws
already on the books. She explained that because Indonesia
is a major source country it was imperative that Indonesia
take steps to close down illegal labor recruiting companies
-- for both domestic and international workers. That said,
Laboff went on to applaud the GOI's clear determination to
fight trafficking, including with close international
cooperation.

6. (U) Both the International Organization for Migration
(IOM) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
representatives agreed that the GOI had taken positive steps
to prevent trafficking in persons through awareness-raising
programs. The government needed to do more to apprehend,
prosecute and convict traffickers. Traffickers were
primarily Indonesian nationals who engaged in domestic and
international forced labor. Some trafficking was done
clandestinely but, most worrisome, were illegal labor
recruiters who operated openly, with apparent impunity. The
IOM and UNODC agreed that Indonesia did not need any new laws
but must more fully implement the laws that it had. These
comments were in line with the 2009 G/TIP report on

JAKARTA 00001854 002 OF 002


Indonesia.

USG SUPPORT APPRECIATED--AND NEEDED

7. (U) All participants agreed that USG support for
anti-trafficking programs was vital. UNODC and IOM said at
the beginning of their presentations that their research and
programs had been funded by the USG. Officials from the
Indonesian police explained how they had benefited from
U.S.-funded training. NGOs urged the government to learn
from the USG on how best to prevent, protect and prosecute.
The NGOs were most pleased with the speed with which the USG
responded, via various international NGOs such as Save the
Children, to their requests for funding.

8. (U) Against the backdrop of these accolades, Mission
appreciates G/TIP's continued support of programs in
Indonesia (ref b). Labatt will continue to meet with NGOs in
order to solicit their proposals for additional
anti-trafficking grants (ref a).

HUME

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