This business is growing. Prostitution and online sales of child pornography videos in Indonesia are social ills that snatch around 100 thousand children a year from their families.
Indonesia, with a population 246 million, 100 million of which survive in poverty conditions, is a developing Asian country that suffers the whiplash of paedophilia.
Its society, with 85% of its population being practising Muslims, was shocked when the Metropolitan Police of Jakarta confirmed the discovery of the online sales of child pornography videos.
A person with the surname Mcay created a website to distribute and commercialise pornographic materials with sexual images between adult men and girls of 12 years old and younger, the spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police, Tercera Rikwanto, explained to the press.
The agents of the Subdepartment of Cyber Crimes figured out how the suspect and his clients bought videos through orders taken via a mobile phone, the number of which is promoted on the website, and they then sent the merchandise to the buyers through a courier company.
In addition to arresting Mcay in a hotel, the police seized a laptop, external hard drives, ID cards with the name Okky Pratama Putra, an accounts book, DVDs and courier receipts.
The chief of the Subdepartment of Cyber Crimes, Deputy Commissioner Hilarius Duha, said that Indonesia has a law criminalizing access to websites with pornographic or violent content, which allows them to block the addresses.
According to the latest report on the The Condition of Childhood Worldwide, UNICEF specifies that for each girl rescued from the streets of Indonesia, thousands are still trapped in prostitution and annually a similar number enters the sex industry.
The sexual exploitation of minors is growing – the organisation defending the children clarified – and a third of Indonesian sex workers are under 18 years old.
Amongst the causes of child trafficking the report identified poverty, lack of financial opportunities for the young, The low social status of girls, high demand for commercial sex, weak law enforcement, discrimination and armed conflicts.
Surveys on human trafficking and sexual exploitation, carried out in East Asian countries such as Indonesia, show that the business is lucrative, well organised and linked to criminal activity and corruption, to the extent that it is a transnational and clandestine business.
With the aim of trying to support the Indonesian government in its fight against these ills, UNICEF works jointly with official entities and local organisations defending children’s rights, as is the case of the group Kakak (a non-governmental organisation that gives refuge to around 150 victims of sexual exploitation)
UNICEF and Kakak’s aim is to fight sexual exploitation and child smuggling by promoting access to education and by pushing for laws that require children to stay in school until the age of 16.
In addition, in collaboration with the tourism industry, UNICEF and Kakak give professional training to children who have left school, are living on the streets and at risk of becoming victims of exploitation.
According to the Fund, it’s a big challenge for minors to re-enter society after months or years out of their homes, trying to survive in degrading and sometimes life threatening conditions.
UNICEF, Kakak and their allies support the training of police officers, health professionals, social workers and teachers to tackle the needs of human trafficking victims. They are also involved in creating a comprehensive referencing system for those affected by human trafficking.
Emmy Smith, founder of Kakak, which means ‘big sister’ in Indonesian, pointed out that in order to endure their lives, 90% of the children involved in prostitution become drug addicts.
An illustrative case, which Kakak says is typical, is the case of Indonesian sisters Wide and Niya, kidnaped, raped and forced to become prostitutes.
Niya was 15 when her boyfriend took her away promising her a lucrative job and the opportunity to carry on studying, emphasised Smith.
After travelling to an unknown place, Niya was raped by a middle aged man who hit her until she was unconscious because she refused the proposal, and later she was sold to a brothel, the activist recalled; Wide’s story is similar.
My pimp stopped giving me money and would only supply me with drugs, Wide explained, I was worse each time, I moved from one hotel room to another, and I worked wherever a client would call for me, in Surakarta, Yogyakarta or Jakarta.
When Kakak tried to rescue us, we hid because we were afraid of our pimp’s reaction, Wide said, who became ill and thought she had Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
In the end it turned out that Wide didn’t have AIDS, and with the help of her mother and Kakak, both sisters managed to quit the sex industry.
Wide returned to school and she is studying to become a counsellor to the victims of child sex exploitation, whilst Niya wants to create her own youth organisation.
(Translated by Carina Sala – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)