A Modern Day Slavery Behind of Indonesian Migrant Workers
On May 5th, 2017, Police Department of North Sumatra succeeded in foiling two human trafficking cases under the placement of migrant workers in Bagan Asahan Village, Tanjung Balai and Sei Pasir, Sei Kepayang Timur. Both villages are located in Asahan Regency, North Sumatra.
Police rescued 42 victims in Bagan Asahan village, originating from West Nusa Tenggara, West Java, Sulawesi, Jambi, East Java, Aceh, and North Sumatra. Meanwhile in Sei Pasir, the number of survivors were 25 people, who came from North Sumatra, West Java, West Sumatra, and Aceh. In these two cases, 16 suspects have been arrested. The arrest was made after police team disguised as a victim and entered the ship.
The high rate of poverty in the region and the limited field of employment, making people tempted to become migrant workers with the lure of high salaries and instant process. This is an opportunity for irresponsible people to commit fraud and human trafficking, a crime that violates human rights.
For example, in West Nusa Tenggara, from 2015 to 2016 31 cases of human trafficking occurred with 59 victims. It was revealed by Usman as chairman of Indonesia Migrant Worker Union in West Nusa Tenggara to Radar Lombok. West Nusa Tenggara is the region with the highest number of trafficking victims.
“They offer jobs to both men and women and smuggled them illegally. Based on the findings of Indonesia Migrant Worker Union in West Nusa Tenggara, the families of prospective migrant workers are also given a minimum of Rp 5 million, this trap which makes the prospective migrant workers unwittingly actually been sold, worked unpaid and subjected to torture,” said Usman. In fact, some were arrested first, then the perpetrator asked for money of 17 million to 25 million if the victim wants to resign. Another case is when the victim already worked, she was not paid for months. In some unique case they are also used as sex workers. “That should be a concern as well, many language course institutions even become brokers who recruit prospective migrant workers. This is wrong, they trade people. Because educational institutions that course should not send people,” he added.
The government itself has tried to prevent the emergence of cases of human trafficking migrant worker placement by combating the departure of non-procedural migrant workers or illegal migrant workers. The government has also enacted law number 21 of 2007 in which traffickers can be subject to maximum 15 years imprisonment.
Published by ZendMoney