Bali as Transit Point and Destination for Human Trafficking

Yosep Yulias Diaz, a Bali-based activist working in an organization to stop Human Trafficking (TPPO) who laments that Bali has become a transit point and a destination for human trafficking, as quoted by Bali Discovery.

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Diaz speaking to the press on Friday, November 3, 2017, said that the victims of human trafficking in Bali come from East and West Nusa Tenggara (NTT and NTB) and that most are under-aged girls working as household servants. Adding: “In the past, Bali was only a transit point, but now serves as both a transit point and a destination for human trafficking. What’s interesting is that most are under-aged children from NTT and NTB who are poorly educated and come from poor families. Most become household servants.”

A leader of the NTT and NTB Diaspora in Bali, Diaz said most victims are girls between the age of 14-16 years of age who are attracted away from their remote homes by the lure of living in a large city with seemingly high wage levels. He said that the sad reality once the girls move to new locations is markedly different.

Recruiters venture into remote villages to approach the girls’ parents with promises of a better life and the promised ability to transfer money back to their home villages. The recruiters are paid Rp. 3.5 million as a success fee when they recruit an under-aged worker.

In an average week, a recruiter can send 20 young girls to Bali and other locations, earning a recruiter as much as Rp. 70 million a week – an amount shared with members of a recruiting network.

Diaz explained how the workers are transported to Bali: “In our interviews with the victims, they are transported in goods trucks. Drivers conceal the girls in special compartments hidden inside their trucks.”

When the girls arrive in Bali they are temporarily housed in local homes where they are forbidden to leave the house without permission. Their “employers” usually seize their identity papers to thwart any attempt at escape. To cover their tracks, the recruiters will teach the children basic skills, such as washing clothes and ironing. Later, they are sent to different cities that include Surabaya, Jakarta, Bandung, Bogor, Batam, Medan and various cities in Malaysia.

Those obtaining jobs in Bali are told they will not be paid for the first three months of their employment in order to cover the payment made to the recruiter. If the young worker has a handphone, their employer confiscates it. Many girls are the victims of humiliating and painful punishment dispensed by their employers who threaten to lengthen the 3-month period of no salary.

Yusdi Diaz is also the chairman of Flobrmora Bali – an association of people living on the Island who come from NTT.

While Diaz has no concrete numbers on human trafficking in Bali, his group deals with many cases of human trafficking.

Read full article, here.



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