Wednesday, May 06, 2009

INDONESIA: Poverty at root of commercial sex work

Source: IRINnews
The following are direct quotes from the aforementioned article:

*In a district of the northeastern part of West Java, commercial sex workers are touting for business right outside the mosque.

*"The root of the problem is poverty, but in some areas... prostitution is accepted. It's the culture," explains Arum Ratnawati...with people so poor they are forced to sell or send their children into commercial sex work to earn income for the family.

*In a country with high unemployment and over 4 million school-age children unable to go to school, it is not difficult to understand how trafficking can thrive. The latest government estimates in 2004 put the number of children trafficked for prostitution at 21,000 for Java and 70,000 for the whole of Indonesia.

*The stories are usually the same: poor, uneducated girls who do not know how to protect themselves are preyed upon by people they trust, including relatives or neighbours, who promise to give them jobs in the city or abroad. They end up working in brothels, forced to pay off the IDR500,000 or IDR1 million ($55 or $110) the trafficker paid their parents.

*While they conduct awareness-raising activities and provide skills training, these NGOs find that many prostitutes do not want to be rescued. "Out of 500 children we tried to rescue over the past four years, only around 150 really want to quit prostitution," says Ratnawati. "They give up their rights because of their economic situation. They need the money."

Click here to read the full article!


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