Based on United Nation Office on Drugs and Criminal (UNODC, 2013) through Trafficking in Persons Protocol, human trafficking is the act for recruitment, transfer, or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force, and for purpose of exploitation.The International Organization of Migration (IOM) and a leading Indonesian anti-trafficking NGO estimated that 43 to 50 percent or some 3 to 4.5 million of Indonesia’s expatriate workforce are victims of conditions indicative of trafficking. According to “Trafficking in Persons Report 2012”, Indonesia is a main source country, destination, transit for sex trade and workforce women and children. “The majority of Indonesian migrant workers face conditions of forced labour and debt bondage in more developed Asian countries and the Middle East.” (US Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report, 2011) These situations make people try to find out the causes of human trafficking. Three possible causes are the economic condition, education level, and legislation status in Indonesia.
Human trafficking could be happened in Indonesia because of the economic condition. The number of poverty is reportedby Central Statistics Agency (BPS) which declining in the last 6 years. However, it is not significantly reduced. The Asian Development Bank also stated that Indonesia is the only country in Southeast Asia in which poverty keep rising. (Handayani, 2012) In Bales’ view (Andrews, 2012), the majority of victims are trapped because they aredesperate and think to have a better life. Some parents might sell their children to cover the debt or even being deceived of prospect trainings and good job with high income for the children. “The problems that triggered human trafficking are poverty and unemployment”, said Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa. (ANTARA News, 2013) As the fourth most populous country in the world with around 240 million people, Indonesia has more than a half of total population is labour force age, while the number of unemployed is 7,170,000 people in February 2013 from Statistics Indonesia. It shows that the job opportunities are not comparable with the demand of job seekers. Unqualified workers also will receive low salary in workplace. As a result, the economic condition could be considered as reason why human trafficking happened in Indonesia.
Another possible cause of human trafficking is education level in Indonesia. According to Central Statistic Agency (BPS) 2001 through Solidarity Center, there are several certain districts which have much lower literacy than national rates. Indonesian people tend to work in the informal sector with lack of job skills, such as housemaids. By not having any education, the workers also are not able to understand about employment contract or official documents when theydecide to work abroad as a migrant worker which will lead to exploitation. (Misra, 2003) Kurniawati argued, “In a country where 57 million go to school, the education system is plagued by lack of infrastructure, teachers and inequality between different regions.” (The Establishment Post, 2013) The minimum qualification of teachers in Indonesia is still exist in a way to teach properly. However, Indonesian Corruption Watch claimed that only few schools are clean of corruption which shows 40 percent of their budget used before class begins. Jakarta Globe also stated 20 percent of the state budget to education which is allocated by government for $30 billion a year is not utilized wisely. For these reasons, human trafficking might be happened because of education level in Indonesia.
Some researchers see that legislation status in Indonesia also trigger the emergence of human trafficking. UNICEF reported in May 2002, there are 37 percent of Indonesian children below 5 years old had not been registered as of 2000. People without birth certification will not have protection since they are not technically recorded as citizen’s state. Usually a lack of access to government office, the fee is expensive, and also lack of understanding how important to register a newborn child are becoming reasons why number of unregistered children quite high. (Davis, 2003) In this case, the children will be easy to be trafficked. In Moretto’s view as deputy head of research at Strategic Asia Indonesia, Indonesia still has not been able to stop human trafficking which is well organized by criminal networks. The government failed to bring more large scale traffickers to court. It reflects a weakness of the Indonesian system. (Jakarta Globe, 2011)As a consequence of legislation status, Indonesia is potentially dealing with human trafficking.
Clearly human trafficking is a phenomenon in Indonesia. The number of labours who want to go abroad to be migrant workers is quite huge. This situation comesup with human trafficking issues. People who are from low economic condition will try to improve a better life by being a migrant worker. Living in poverty with small number of job opportunities has pushed every Indonesian labours to exploitation. In other hand, the level of education in Indonesia is very low. Not all the workers are well educated and have job skills. Even the number of illiteracy could be found in several regions in Indonesia. Moreover, Indonesian government has lack of legislation status against human trafficking. There are a lot of unregistered children who will be easy to be trafficked. Perhaps those are the main causes why human trafficking happened in Indonesia.
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