Cablegate: Surabaya Tip Seminar: Difficulties Remain in Combatting Tip
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJS #0124 3580555
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 240555Z DEC 09
FM AMCONSUL SURABAYA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0510
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 0500
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0228
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0196
RUEHJS/AMCONSUL SURABAYA 0523
UNCLAS SURABAYA 000124
DEPT FOR G/TIP
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB KTIP ECON PGOV PHUM SOCI ID
SUBJECT: SURABAYA TIP SEMINAR: DIFFICULTIES REMAIN IN COMBATTING TIP
REF: SURABAYA 99 "NGOS RATE SURABAYA'S OFFICIAL EFFORTS TO COMBAT TIP"
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1. (SBU) Several attendees at a recent Trafficking in Persons
(TIP) seminar in Surabaya described prosecutors and judges as a
weak link in the enforcement of TIP laws. Recently tightened
government regulations were said to have made less-educated
workers more vulnerable to trafficking. The Indonesian
government must address the competing priorities of combating
TIP and increasing remittances from overseas Indonesian workers.
2. (SBU) The Human Rights Center at the Surabaya University
held a Trafficking in Persons Seminar on December 16, 2009.
Around 50 people representing NGOs, government agencies (such as
the Planning and Development Board, the Social Department, and
the Health Department), and the police attended the seminar.
There were no prosecutors or judges in attendance. The seminar
focused on describing the challenges surrounding TIP. Several
participants, both NGO and government agency representatives,
commented that they were already well aware of the challenges
and need more "tools" to address those challenges.
3. (SBU) Mimaningsih, the Director of the Women and Children
Protection Unit of the Surabaya Police, said that a lack of
commitment from prosecutors and judges is a major problem with
combating TIP in Surabaya. She said the police focus on
arresting traffickers and applying the law, while prosecution of
trafficking cases is very slow when prosecuted at all.
Widhiyanti, a lawyer who focuses on TIP cases, said that
prosecutors will frequently drop TIP cases due to a lack of
evidence. However, he said that the law only requires a single
witness, which can be the victim, plus one piece of evidence
such as a fake identification document in order to prosecute a
TIP case. Contrary to the law, judges often require a
prosecutor to demonstrate more evidence than this minimum
requirement. The Surabaya TIP NGO community has expressed
similar concerns (reftel).
4. (SBU) Sigit Priyono of the East Java Manpower Office said
the government has focused on improving the placement of migrant
workers abroad by tightening regulations. These regulations
require workers to have at least a high school level education
and attempt to make employment agencies responsible for their
workers' safety. However, he said that these regulations have
caused an increase in trafficking cases because poorly educated
workers seeking employment overseas are unable to go through
creditable employment agencies. They then become vulnerable to
unscrupulous agencies that engage in trafficking activities.
Cholily, the Chairman of the Indonesian Migrant Worker Union,
said that these poorly educated workers are at the greatest risk
of trafficking because they lack information about safe and
legal methods of finding employment overseas.
5. (SBU) Cholily also said that the Indonesian government has
competing interests when it comes to dealing with trafficking.
While the government is determined to improve the quality of
life for its overseas workers by reducing trafficking, it is
also focused on increasing the number of overseas workers in
order to increase remittances. According to Cholily, overseas
Indonesian workers sent approximately $10 billion in remittances
in 2008. Muhammad Nour, from the International Labor
Organization, said that about $500 million of that came to East
Java. Chollily said that the government aims to increase the
total remittance to $15 billion, although she didn't provide any
timeline for that goal.