Essay Sample on Human Trafficking and Child Labour in Indonesia

Published: 2023-04-19
Essay Sample on Human Trafficking and Child Labour in Indonesia
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  World Child abuse Human trafficking Social issue
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1772 words
15 min read

In the contemporary world, child labor and human trafficking are some of the problems encountered by many countries. On one hand, human trafficking is the recruitment, transfer, transportation, or receipt of people through use of force, violence, abduction, threat, deception, forgery, abuse of power, or fraud for exploitation; which comprise slavery, any kind of sexual exploitation, or forced labor (Iqbal and Gusman 1). Trafficking in persons is seen as a crime against humanity. On the other hand, Child labor is the exploitative work that deprives young children of their potential and dignity and hurts their physical and mental growth. In other terms, the term 'child labor' encompasses all the economic activities that threaten the well-being of young children (Edmonds and Pavcnik 200). Indonesia is one of the countries where human trafficking and child labor are very common and have severe effects on the affected people, their families, and to the entire country. In this paper, these modern problems of human trafficking and child labor will be discussed in detail. The paper will also discuss some of the major negative effects faced by the country due to human trafficking and child labor, and propose some measures or strategies that can be taken to help in addressing these problems.

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Indonesia is one of the country's most hit by human trafficking and child labor problems. For instance, in 2018, Indonesia enhanced its efforts to eliminate the worst kinds of child labor. The government significantly increased its labor inspectorate funding from $2.1 million in 2017 to & 10.2 million (U.S Department of Labour, n.p). Some of these funds were specifically allocated to enforce child labor rules and regulations. As such, the Indonesian government carried out 9,792 labor inspections and continues working with the international organization for migration (IMO) to establish a comprehensive integrated human trafficking database (U.S Department of Labour, n.p). Besides, the government created shelters in 2016, formed local task forces to address and combat the crime, protect and rehabilitate victims (Kosandi et al, 1). Despite the increased government efforts to curb the vice human trafficking victims in the country remains high. In essence, children in the country experience grave forms of child labor such as commercial sexual exploitation which is mostly a result of human trafficking. Children also perform risky jobs in agricultural plantations, which include tobacco and palm oil production. As such, the labor ministry in the country lack personnel and financial resources crucial to enforce child labor laws. Moreover, essentials bills such as Domestic Workers protection continues to languish in parliament since 2010.

Human trafficking cases keep happening in Indonesia, especially where the objects are children and women raising a special concern. According to Kosandi et al, it is one of the main source countries of the regional network of human trafficking (1). Numerous Indonesian workers are transported and exploited in the host state. Destinations countries for these migrating workers include Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Kuwait, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates (Kosandi et al 1). Where they are exploited and forced into sexual trading or prostitution, forced to work, and other types of slavery in the informal sector such as ordered wife and domestic work (Naibaho 2). In 2015, the IOM estimated that there are at least 75000 victims of persons trafficking in Indonesia. The most common sector where children and women are trafficked in the country are migrant work, domestic work, sex work, servile marriage, and child labor (Rosenborg 30). As such, most victims of human trafficking experience aggravated sexual violence.

People become victims of human trafficking based on false promises of being employed. However, they end up being prostitutes without their consent. Thus, it is worth noting that Indonesian workers prefer to seek work in other countries due to limited employment opportunities in their country, low wages, and poverty (Arista and Nursimah 5). According to the central bureau of statistics, 11.37% of the country's population lives below the poverty line. Thus, it becomes a key source of low skilled migrant workers especially women who work in the informal sector (Iqbal and Gusman 3). The workers migrate to destination countries that are experiencing high rates of economic growth and development. According to Rosenberg, the number of women migrating seeking work in other countries has steadily increased since the 1980s (17). Today, many people migrate without the knowledge of the manpower department through formal or informal means including underage children.

Furthermore, the Indonesian ideological and cultural structure of patriarchy views women and children especially girls as objects of economic value due to their low level of education. According to Iqbal and Gusman, 90.3% of trafficking in person victims are women, of who 23.6% are children (2). Thus, various districts currently allocate budget to prevent violence against women and children including trading in persons (Iqbal and Gusman, 2). Another possible cause of the rising trafficking in humans is because Indonesia is a high migration area. Hence, this represents traffickers with an opportunity to recruit victims through brokers who promise to help the process work-related documents and smuggling. Victims are lured into slavery through forced servitude, debt bondage, and other trafficking scenarios (Moore, n.p). Thus, the underlying causes of trafficking in humans are lack of job opportunities, poverty, and the weak implementation of the child protection Act.

Child prostitution has become rampant and continues to be an increasing problem for Indonesia. In the islands of Batam and Bali, for example, tourists exploit the commercial sex trade (Moore, n.p). Therefore, as sex tourism rise Indonesia has become a major host country for human trafficking. It is estimated that between 40000 to 70000 children who are not trafficked as migrant workers are victims of sexual exploitation in the country (Moore, n.p). As such, human trafficking and child labor are severe problems facing the country. Children and women who experience sexual and physical abuse tend to face poor emotional outcomes such as depression and anxiety, social isolation, low self-esteem, substance abuse, commit suicide, or exhibit symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Rafferty 14). Moreover, those being exploited as slaves encounter problems including drug dependency, premature aging, depression, and malnutrition as a result of difficult and harsh working conditions (Rafferty 14). Therefore, children from minority groups, disadvantaged families, or abducted have no protection.

Human trafficking has adverse impacts on the economy of Indonesia. First, child labor is ineffective and inefficient (Gordon 2). Furthermore, child labor substitutes education and keeps children away from school (Gordon 4). As such, the countries illiteracy level continues stagnating. For example, studies have shown that child labor is evident in a family where parents have not attained high levels of education, as they may place little value in education as a result of personal experience, notion that education does benefit a person, or inadequate school system (Gordon 4). As such, in an economy such as Indonesia that is developing, education is a better investment than child labor. Moreover, the many negative health outcomes of trafficking in humans and forced labor in tobacco and palm oil plantations pose a national health problem (Zimmerman, para 18). Previous research shows that inequalities in the labor market are significantly related to healthy life expectancy, injury, and mortality rates (Zimmerman, para 8). Therefore, the government needs to put more effort in curbing human trafficking and child labor issues, which consequently will improve the country's economy and put it on the right path of economic growth and development.

The government of Indonesia is doing its best in addressing human trafficking and child labor. For example, in the 2000s it developed a national plan of action (NPA) on human rights (Rosenberg 230). The second phase of the NPA commenced in 2008 seeking to protect children's rights, fight trafficking in human and sexual exploitation. The enactment continues promoting action against the worst forms of child labor via targeted and direct interventions (Moore, n.p). However, the lack of adequate legislation, action, and enforcement has permitted the vice to progress. As such, the government should give additional enforcement of the existing legal legislations. For example, the government should block child pornographic sites and appeal to the citizens to report such cases. Further, it should seek to improve the economy by creating jobs and enhancing the education systems.

Moreover, there is a need to closely monitor labor recruitment agencies and brokers (Moore n.p). Therefore, investigating, prosecuting, and convicting guilty traffickers. Similarly, the government should make clear and concise the process of identifying exploited victims who are vulnerable to human trading, including the majority of the Indonesian labor force. Likewise, information channels between prosecutors, judges, and police who investigate and discover the crimes should be improved. Law enforcement conducted to stop trafficking is ineffective. As the number of cases reported by the police is worryingly low in comparison with the actual occurrences of these vices. According to Naibaho the professionalism capacity of the police force should be improved to deal with traffickers who are organized crime groups with massive networks.

Failure of the government and the police to bring to an end sex trafficking and child labor, while the traffickers continue to grow and make proceeds and victims continues to face poor health outcomes. Thus, the government lacks the means of severe sanctions and punish offenders, failing to deter other future perpetrators (Rosenborg 219). Therefore, the government needs to increase awareness of its citizens and persuade them to report such cases. Besides, Indonesia should collaborate with the international community in efforts to curb the problem. The crisis needs the commitment, attention, and care of the international community.

In conclusion, human trafficking and child labor are rampant in Indonesia. The problems are as a result of poverty, limited economic opportunities, and low levels of education among women. The government is putting a lot of effort in ending these issues. However, the countries police force lacks adequate professional capacity to deal with the existing high numbers of sex trafficking cases. As such, the law cases are too many for law enforcers and resources need to be availed to fight the problem. Similarly, there is a lot of gaps in the country's legislation. For example, there are laws protecting people from violence, trafficking, child labor, and sexual exploitation which can be used to bring to justice traffickers. Nonetheless, the measures take do not deter the perpetrators. As such, there is a need for improved legislation to ensure that the courts of law act to deter people from engaging in these crimes. Lastly, the Indonesian government needs to collaborate with the regional and international community to fight the issue as it is a global concern.

Works Cited

Arista, Windi. "Human Trafficking From Migrant Labor: An Analysis of Patriarchal Ideology in Community and State." IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science. Vol. 175. No. 1. IOP Publishing, 2018.

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