Oddly enough, and despite the consensus on the issue being accepted internationally, sex tourism is not a crime in Indonesia since the crime as such is not defined in the legal framework.

As a result, Indonesia has seen no respite in the increase in sexual crimes among minors, both girls and boys.

Indonesia’s Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection (KPPPA) has recorded a sharp increase in human trafficking cases during the pandemic with 256 victims in 2021, up from 213 in 2020 and 111 in 2019.
Child exploitation, including the use of minors in criminal activities and hazardous work, is also on the rise, with more than 165 cases reported in 2021 – up from 133 in 2020 and 106 in 2019, with most victims coming from West Java and East Nusa Tenggara provinces.
According to the most recent figures available from the Global Slavery Index by Australian NGO Walk Free, an estimated 1.2 million Indonesians were enslaved in 2016. Many were trafficked for domestic work at home and abroad or exploited in the sex trade. About 43% of Indonesian trafficking victims are between the ages of 14 and 17.

In 2016 alone, there were 1.2 million Indonesians reduced to slavery! Since then, the planet has been hit by the covid-19 pandemic and unsurprisingly, the poorest of the poor have been hit even harder. The pandemic and its corollary (the famous lockdown) have deprived many Indonesians of the little that their miserable work managed to give them.

It is very difficult to change the morals of a population and in general, in Southeast Asia, prostitution is not given much consideration. During our report in 2017, witnesses explained to us that they preferred their husbands to go to prostitutes rather than take mistresses because it put them in less danger of ending up on the street if ever the mistress prevailed over the married woman. It should be noted that in Indonesia the status of women is unenviable and schooling is not encouraged, which makes them victims who are easy to fool and very unaware of their rights.

Let us also mention that there are very few convictions for sexual crimes against children because under Indonesian law, the perpetrators of these crimes (pimps, traffickers or others) will not be prosecuted for violating the laws concerning human trafficking but rather according to the law on the protection of children. These articles of law result in much less severe sentences for those (and they are very rare) who have the misfortune of falling into the hands of incorruptible justice officers.

The problem with our legal system is that it is difficult to prove whether such cases can be considered human trafficking,” she said, adding that the legal definition should also include transporting, harboring or “receiving” people as well as fraud and coercion. .
And she stressed that if the victims are children “sometimes the perpetrators can only be charged under the Child Protection Act, not the Anti-Trafficking Act.”

At Talitha Koumi, far from discouraging us, these numbers and facts only strengthen our determination to be part of the fight against this modern form of slavery. Thanks to our generous donors and the staff of our partner on the island of Java, we are saving precious young girls, one by one. We embrace the values ​​of the Lord Jesus, for whom the value of a single soul would have justified his death on the cross.

Talitha Koumi is an organization that fights against child trafficking and depends entirely on donors. We are not affiliated with any religious or governmental denomination in order to preserve our independence.

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