Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 12:25 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Indonesia

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 3 June 2005
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Indonesia, 3 June 2005, available at: [accessed 1 June 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Indonesia (Tier 2)

Indonesia is a source and transit country for men, women, and children trafficked internationally for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor, while the country also faces a significant internal trafficking problem. Indonesian victims are trafficked to Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Australia. To a much lesser extent, Indonesia is a destination for women from the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.), Thailand, Taiwan, Uzbekistan, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Venezuela, Spain, and Ukraine who are trafficked for sexual exploitation. Within Indonesia, there is extensive internal trafficking primarily from rural to urban areas for commercial sexual exploitation and for other forced labor such as involuntary domestic servitude.

The Government of Indonesia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. In 2004, the Indonesian Government showed clear progress in applying greater law enforcement efforts to fighting trafficking and assisting Indonesian victims abroad, including migrant workers who had been trafficked. The government significantly increased its convictions of traffickers and adopted standard operating procedures for the protection of victims. In some Indonesian provinces, local governments drafted and enacted new laws and budgeted resources for anti-trafficking programs. Following the tsunami that devastated Aceh province, the Indonesian Government rapidly responded with appropriate measures to reduce the potential for trafficking of children from the region. While local governments gave greater priority to trafficking, translating national commitment to local action remained a problem. The Indonesian Government can take significant action by passing a strong and comprehensive anti-trafficking law; addressing internal trafficking; recognizing and taking steps to eliminate debt bondage for migrant workers; and arresting and prosecuting officials involved in trafficking.


The Indonesian Government increased its law enforcement efforts against trafficking during the reporting period. Indonesia does not have a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, but a draft bill is currently pending before Parliament. Although Indonesian law criminalizes trafficking, it lacks a comprehensive definition of the crime. In 2004, the government reported 141 trafficking-related investigations, 51 prosecutions, and 45 convictions. The number of convictions reflected an 80 percent increase over the previous year's performance. Although law enforcement efforts increased, convictions for trafficking-related offenses often carried light sentences, with an average sentence of just over three years' imprisonment. The Indonesian Government cooperated with the Malaysian Government in arresting and prosecuting a major network that trafficked Indonesians into Malaysia for commercial sexual exploitation. Corruption and a weak judiciary remain serious impediments to the effective prosecution of traffickers. The government has recognized that action must be taken against officials involved in trafficking, but has provided little information concerning actions it has taken against corrupt officials who may be complicit in trafficking.


In 2004, the Indonesian Government improved its efforts to provide protection to trafficking victims despite limited resources. National and local victim assistance efforts increased, but remained small in comparison to the scope of the problem. Assistance for internal trafficking victims was minimal. The Indonesian Government continued to operate shelters for Indonesian victims of involuntary servitude and commercial sexual exploitation at its embassies and consulates in Singapore, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. The government also operates crisis centers inside the country and cooperates with domestic NGOs and civil society organizations that provide services for victims. The Indonesian Government continued to provide training to officials and law enforcement officers in the handling of witnesses and victims. The Women's Ministry also finalized standard operating procedures used to assist trafficking victims in 2004. Although Indonesia's national action plan calls for proper treatment of trafficking victims, implementation varies widely at the local level.


The Indonesian Government made commendable efforts to promote public awareness of trafficking in 2004. The government increasingly used its National Anti-Trafficking Ambassador, a well-known television personality, to raise awareness of trafficking and of the need for more anti-trafficking efforts. Although the government has a limited ability to fund prevention programs, it welcomed international assistance and continued to work with NGOs on anti-trafficking and education initiatives. Most education campaigns focused on warning potential victims about trafficking. Some public education material in the campaign to stop child sex tourism in Batam and Bali contained messages for potential clients of prostitutes. Government-sponsored public awareness campaigns often featured senior officials and included television, radio, and print media.

Search Refworld