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Children Trafficking in Indonesia

Updated on July 16, 2011

Children are the precious blessings in the world, but sometime we as adults fail to protect them. They are fragile creatures that really need our attention, care, protection, and love. A number of children in Indonesia are also suffer of this kind of neglect. Many Indonesian children are become victims of human trafficking.

Not only children in villages, Indonesian children in big cities like Jakarta, Surabaya, Medan, Denpasar (Bali) and Batam are also become victims of this kind of disgusting practice. I feel sick and angry about this kind of humiliation of children as the nation's future. Although the human especially children trafficking issue has been declared as one of the worst form of treatment of people in Indonesia, but there are many people who still doing that in various regions in Indonesia. This is really a sad fact about children in developing country.

Well, my government has released the No. 1 Year 2000 Act against this practice, but somehow, there are still many news about children trafficking.

Indonesia is not only the source of children trafficking but also a transit and destination country for human trafficking. The fact, UNICEF estimates that 100,000 women and children are trafficked annually for commercial in Indonesia and other countries. It's really sad that 30% of the female prostitutes in Indonesia are below 18 (still considered as children) and many children are victims of sexual exploitation. Those predators are everywhere and ready to set up our children into their trap.   

The Modus

The predators or users used to hire some traffickers and the traffickers are looking for the victims in every regions in Indonesia. The predators could be anybody and they usually have big bunch of money to control.

The traffickers could be anybody who involved in this trafficking activity, these people could be their own neighbors, friends, relatives, employers, the brothel owners, individual like a few corrupt government officers or an officer who could be bought by money, and even their own parents who sold them just for money. And the children trafficking numbers are increase during natural disasters like tsunami or earthquake. When tsunami happened in Aceh (NAD), North Sumatera, many children lost their family and parents, they are the most fragile victims who will become a great target of human trafficking.

Those children are sold in many clubs, karaoke bars, or even hotels operating in many tourist areas in Indonesia or other countries. Sadly, the report of children trafficking are not many, actually the fact is like an ice-berg phenomenon, because many victims were afraid and ashamed, and the crimes involved and the trafficking are used to be underground and therefore it's so difficult to monitor and to be proved.

The children even kidnapped by the traffickers.

Children trafficking is lucrative and linked with criminal activity and also with corruption, it's not a secret anymore that the corruption level in Indonesia is extremely high.

Child in suburbs area, easy target for children trafficking.
Child in suburbs area, easy target for children trafficking.

What region that used to have children trafficking

Most of regions in Indonesia, like Jakarta, East Java, Sumatera, Kalimantan (Borneo), East Nusa Tenggara, Batam, and also Sulawesi. The traffickers activity are more active in the frontier areas like Entikong, West Kalimantan (West Borneo), it's not a secret anymore that many Indonesian children and also young women are sold through that area. (The silk road, from Entikong to Tebedu, there are many human trafficking through those places - Kompas, January 2009).

Children, protect them.
Children, protect them.
Slum area in Jakarta, Indonesia
Slum area in Jakarta, Indonesia

What cause children trafficking in Indonesia

There are at least three main reasons why this has happened in Indonesia,
1. Poverty
2. Lack of Education
3. The Patriarchy culture.

1. Poverty
Many Indonesian family live under USD 5 income per day, so, it become some justifications if they sell their children. The hedonist life style that influence many young Indonesian people to have as much money as they can also one of the reason. Young people in a small town are persuaded by the luxury life in the big cities, and the traffickers used this opportunity.

Some people left Indonesia with hope for better life and they end up in the prostitution, abused by their employers, or become children labors. 

2. Lack of education
The poverty will lead to lack of education.  People who are poor will never consider the importance of education, so they won't bother to go to school or something. Many of them (the victims) are uneducated, just graduated from primary school or worst, are never graduated from primary school. They're easy to be manipulated and abused. Not just lack of education but also lack of awareness.

Lack of education will make people fall to modern slavery easily. This is very important and really need the attention from the government.

3. Patriarchy culture
Indonesia has a patriarchy system. According to wikipedia, patriarchy is a social system in which the father or eldest male is head of the household, having authority over women and children. Patriarchy also refers to a system of government by males, and to the dominance of men in social or cultural systems. It may also include title being traced through the male line.

Actually, there is nothing wrong with the system, but the danger is, sometime it makes women and children are being abused and neglected. 

Indonesian Government really works hard against children trafficking, like supports shelters for trafficking victims in countries like Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Singapore. Indonesian Government collaborates with NGOs and international organizations to raise awareness in 16 provinces and also sponsored a televised public service announcement on private national television stations.

The Indonesian Government also distributed child sex tourism materials in Bali and Batam. There is also a MOU between Indonesian and Malaysia Governments to protect the migrant workers, but still the number of human trafficking like children and women in Indonesia are extremely high.

The Government needs to make greater efforts to uncover and convict all people who are involved in trafficking. The recruiting system has to be repaired and not benefiting the exploitative agencies and employers. I hope my Government will do that, oh and one more thing, I know the budget is really tight, but I also hope that Indonesian Government will increase its budget for the prevention of trafficking and the treatment for the victims.

Against children trafficking!!


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    • profile image

      Abhi 3 years ago

      I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forawrd to reading more from you in the future. Thank you

    • profile image

      iwak peyek 6 years ago

      good article for my exam

    • profile image

      coriwbaker 6 years ago

      Great hub. It's really good to know about Indonesian children. Thanks for sharing.

    • febriedethan profile image

      febriedethan 7 years ago from Indonesia

      article_eric, thank you for the appreciation, our government is still fighting with these issues for our children' future.

    • article_eric profile image

      Eric 7 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I have so many opinions on this and none of them are good. What a sad sad state of affairs so much of the world is in these days. It is truly a tragic shame.

      Thank you so much for #2 in your hub because (as you can see by my own hub) I am such an advocate of education in all cultures and societies. I agree that everyone, especially the governments need to start to focus on this more. Sadly, it just isn't happening.

      Thank you for the informative and eye-opening hub.

    • febriedethan profile image

      febriedethan 7 years ago from Indonesia

      Hi Tatjana, it's been a while, you're welcome! Thank you for visiting!

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

      Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Excellent Hub . Thank you so much.

    • febriedethan profile image

      febriedethan 7 years ago from Indonesia

      @Sundy Goodnight, welcome to Hubpages! Child trafficking is a nightmare but yet it's so real. Sometime it happens before our eyes and we never realize it. Thank you for visiting!

    • Sundy Goodnight profile image

      Sundy Goodnight 7 years ago from New York

      Child trafficking is such a terrible problem all over the world. Thank you for spreading the word about this problem and bringing it to light for people who may have never heard of it and may be able to help.

    • febriedethan profile image

      febriedethan 8 years ago from Indonesia

      This is indeed James, the most irresponsible action toward children. Thank you for your comment.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      What a tragedy! This is indeed a sad world. Thank you for letting me know this is going on over there. Shameful.

    • febriedethan profile image

      febriedethan 8 years ago from Indonesia

      shil1978, I agree with you, children are gifts from God and we have to take care of them. Thank you so much for this support, and yes, our government works really hard to fight this. Children trafficking are everywhere, we have to fight that.

    • Shil1978 profile image

      Shil1978 8 years ago

      Thank you febriedethan for this much-needed hub. We, as adults, often fail at many things. Wish though we could do more about child trafficking. IMHO, children are gifts from God, and those who exploit them should face the sternest punishment.

      More community and governmental action is required to rid the world of this scourge. Every child, irrespective of his/her background, has the right to live and grow up as a normal child and have access to education, love, toys, all things kids love.

      Thanks again febriedethan for opening our eyes to this oft-neglected issue. Hope we can do something for all the children unfortunate enough to have fallen prey to these predators. Let's do what we can in our own small ways!

      Voted up and rated useful. Thanks again for this hub!!

    • febriedethan profile image

      febriedethan 8 years ago from Indonesia

      Parrster, hi! yes, aren't we all of the same ? It's the same with me, I did not realize it, due to the comforts around me and my child, but even if I did not see it in front of my eyes, I knew that those things really happen around me and made me sad. We still fight to save the children, the future of us. Thank you for encouraging comment :)

    • parrster profile image

      Richard Parr 8 years ago from Australia

      It's so very easy to remain oblivious to such things while enjoying the comforts of the society I live. Yet I only have to imagine my own children in such circumstance and the horror of it becomes unthinkable, a nightmare thought. What a terribly, terribly sad plight the greed selfishness and lust of man can produce. Thank you for this poignant hub.

    • febriedethan profile image

      febriedethan 8 years ago from Indonesia

      Micky Dee, I love your saying : Children should be children. All of man's progress is for nothing if we cannot protect EVERY CHILD.

      That's so true! I've been so lucky because I grew up with parent and family who always protect and take care of me, but what happened with children out there?

      Hello, hello, hi good to see you :) Well, every coin has two sides of face, you're right, Indonesia is beautiful country with amazing nature, and wonderful people, but there are also many Indonesian people who are not so lucky, they have to live in poverty and fight for their daily life. Those people who don't know what to eat tomorrow, how they will survive and etc.

      Sad facts, but I believe that there is hope in my country, we still pray for Indonesia. Thank you for visiting :)

      Jessieagudo, you're welcome..:)

      Thank you for commenting my friends :)

    • febriedethan profile image

      febriedethan 8 years ago from Indonesia

      Dolores Monet, yes, you're right, poverty is the main cause, so we have to fight it, thank you for visiting.

      Careconservation, yes, at least that's all I can do right now, to attract people awareness and protect the children. Thank you for commenting.

    • profile image

      jessieagudo 8 years ago

      Thanks for sharing...

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      I can't belief what I am reading. I have been to Indonesia and it is so beautiful and the people are so lovely. What has human being come down to? How much lower canyou sink? I am so sad for your country.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 8 years ago

      There can be no excuse for putting children in harms way and exploiting them. The Golden Rule must be THE LAW. Children should be children. All of man's progress is for nothing if we cannot protect EVERY CHILD. Thank you Ma'am. This is a very great hub!

    • careconservation profile image

      careconservation 8 years ago from Global

      This is a wonderful and well-written posting about a true human tragedy. Thank you for continuing to spread the word.


    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Febriedethan - a sad and terrible problem around the world. Poverty is the root of so much human suffering.


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