Prevention Trafficking Of Women In Indonesia Criminology Essay

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Human trafficking is commonly found in countries within Asia-Pacific region. As exemplified by many scholars these countries includes developing countries such as Indonesia (for example, see Wright cited in Latifa and Noveria, 2010). Some of the reasons behind the increasing rate of human trafficking are economic opportunities which come from cheap workers. IRIN (Humanitarian News and Analysis, UN project) cited in The Jakarta Post (2010) indicates that from two to four million of women and children trafficked every year worldwide, 80,000 - 100,000 of them are from Indonesia and mostly are being trafficked for economic-oriented reason.

Tailby (2001) asserts that the terms smuggling and trafficking of human beings, often became unclear in implementation. People smuggling is defined as people's mobilization across border of countries without legal documents, where as people trafficking may be that of within one country (Australian Institute of Criminology, 2008). Moreover, Australian Institute of Criminology (2008:1) adds that human trafficking is also: …."The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, force labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs".

This essay attempts to discuss several factors underlying women trafficking and highlights some alternative suggestions to eliminate human trafficking based on women victim. Approach applied is based on reviews of several studies and scientific papers related to human trafficking.


There are several factors which may cause women trafficking in Indonesia, such as poverty, unemployment and lack of education, offer of better live and gender discrimination in workplace. Firstly, poverty and lack of economic opportunity make women and children potential victims of trafficker. Centre of Statistical Biro of Indonesia (2009), claim Indonesia had a massive experienced in reducing the number of poor people from 40.1% in 1976 to 11.3% in 1996. But the economic crisis, which began in the mid of 1997 has hampered such progress by which the number of poor people increased considerably during the crisis period to 14.2 % in March 2009.

Secondly, unemployment make women are vulnerable to false promises of job opportunities in other countries. "Most of the unemployed in Indonesia are young and inexperienced, still live with their parents, and have at least 12 years of education" (Suryadarma, Suryahadi, Sumarto, 2007). Many of those who accept these offers from what appear to be legitimate sources find themselves in situations where their documents are destroyed, their selves or their families threatened with harm, or they are bonded by a debt that they have no chance of repaying. Lack of education and information made matters worse situation, where according to Irkham (2006), access Indonesia people to newspaper just 1:43 or 1 newspaper for 43 people, compare with Malaysia 1:8.1 and Japan 1:1.74. In 2005 approximately 14.8% population was illiteracy (Ministry National Education spoke cited in Irkham 2006).

Another factor is offer of a good salary for working abroad often seems like a magical escape to a better world. In reality, the victims are trapped in various ways. They are promised to have a high payment for working in a hotel or restaurant as waiter or in the factory and in the plantation site. In fact it is only a tricky strategy, and they are just trapped and being exploited. Sometimes their passports are taken by employee or the pimps to avoid them run away. Furthermore, discrimination to find job for female is also influenced women to become vulnerable. Suryadarma, Suryahadi, Sumarto, (2007), claim that women has only 37% of labor force, indicate that it is more difficult for female workers to find employment compared to their male counterpart.


Many study offered methods in dealing with human trafficking, in broad outline is suggested to prevent, prosecute and protecting vulnerable people from trafficking. Firstly, the prevention of human trafficking requires several types of interventions. The government of Indonesia made significant effort to prevent trafficking in persons. The government continues some collaboration with NGOs and international organization efforts to raise awareness of trafficking. The ministry of women's Empowerment (MOWE), as the government focal point and coordinator for the national anti-trafficking Task Force, drafted a new 2009-2013 national plan of action on human trafficking. Several province and districts establish local plan of action and anti trafficking committees. Indonesian police cooperate with Australian and Swiss provided anti trafficking training to Indonesia Troops prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions. Indonesian government is intended to make more difficult for traffickers by ensure that border controls are effective and by taking measures to prevent the misuse of passport and other travel or identification documents. Government, NGOs, and other organizations may support anti-trafficking by campaigns the risk of trafficking and information such as legal procedure working in overseas. The programmed have to involve parents, traditional chiefs and priest, villagers, and vulnerable women. Therefore, government of Indonesia should increase opportunities for individuals to migrate legally for work and vocational training. Development of long- term strategies aimed at improving the economic and social condition of vulnerable groups.

There is example of a successful NGO anti trafficking effort in Nigeria. The activity supports victim of trafficking at the local level. The major component consists of "micro-finance schemes". Project participant receive specialized technical assistance, business counseling and training, and the resources required to start and run small business (Friesendorf, 2009).

The second strategy is prosecuting. The Indonesian government prosecuted 129 suspected trafficking offenders in 2008, an increase from 109 prosecuted in 2007. 9 of conviction in 2008 were for labor trafficking offenses. The average sentence given to convict trafficking offenders was 43 months. Indonesian officials and local NGOs often criticized the police as too passive in combating trafficking. (United States Department, 2009). Law enforcement capacities are still low in Indonesia. This is especially because prosecuting human trafficking tends to be more resource intensive than prosecuting other forms of crime. Low salaries of police, border guard agencies, prosecutors, judges are hampers counter-crime effort. Accepting bribes is often the only way for official to sustain themselves and their families. Police officer, borders guards and other confronted with human trafficking on the ground also need training to adequately protect the human rights of trafficked person.

Another strategy is protecting vulnerable women from trafficking. Government of Indonesia operated 41 "integrated service centers" dealing to victim of violence, involve trafficking victims. Four of those centers were full medical recovery center particularly for trafficking victim. Throughout 2008, the government set up 305 district-level women's help desk to assist women victim of violence-an increase from 25 such desk existing in 2006. Authorities at the Tanjung Priok seaport in Jakarta screened travelers in order to identify victims of trafficking and refer them to appropriate shelters and medical care facilities. In mid-2008, the National Agency for the Placement and Protection of Overseas Workers opened a new terminal at Jakarta international airport-terminal 4-dedicated to receiving returning Indonesia workers. Indonesia's Foreign Ministry continued to operate shelters for trafficking victim and migrant workers at some of Indonesia embassies and consulates abroad. During the past year, these diplomatic establishments sheltered thousands of Indonesian citizens, including trafficking victims (United States Department of State, 2009). However, Indonesian government needs to build cooperation with specialized NGOs, building appropriate national structure and capacities for reintegration the victims, including opportunity for reinsertion into the labor market, is necessary in order to prevent victim from being re-trafficked.


Poverty and lack of economic is making women potential victim of traffickers. They are vulnerable to false promise of job opportunity in other countries. The government of Indonesia anticipates to the seriousness of human trafficking problem by cooperate with some countries to conduct training, built special plan and institutions to tackle human traffickers in Province and districts. Furthermore, Indonesian government improves prosecution to human traffickers, yet Indonesian government may improve official wealth to reduce bribe.

The complexities of human trafficking problem and its global reach requires concerted effort by relevant entities at the local, national, regional and international level. It is vitally important to form partnership with intergovernmental organizations, government, NGOs, international organization, legislator, community leaders and families confronted with trafficking.