Indonesian authorities arrested eight suspects for their involvement in a human trafficking ring (Reuters). Police identified the event as the country’s largest human trafficking bust with 1,200 victims. The victims went abroad to become domestic workers in Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Syria (Morocco World News). The promise of high-paying jobs lured those trafficked who instead faced withheld wages and sexual abuse overseas (SCMP).
Authorities charged the suspect under anti-slavery laws that can amount to 15 years in jail (Reuters). In 2015, the Indonesian government banned women from traveling to 21 Middle East countries amid several abuse cases. However, the high demand for domestic workers in Asia incentivizes traffickers to work around the restriction (Reuters). While labor rights campaigners have praised the arrests, they have also been vocal on their belief that more must be done to combat the issue. Anis Hidayah, an activist with the non-profit Migrant Care, explained that “the government has tried to address this issue, but the latest arrests show a lot more needs to be done and it is still a major problem,” (Reuters).
Tags: Human Trafficking, Asia, Indonesia, domestic workers