U.S. mission works with partners to stop human trafficking
The U.S. Consulate General, in partnership with the Sheraton and KPI (Koalisi Perempuan Indonesia) is working on a three day campaign of awareness to combat Trafficking in Persons. Indonesia is a major source country, and to a much lesser extent a destination and transit country for women, children, and men who are subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Each of Indonesia’s 33 provinces is a source and destination of trafficking, with the most significant source areas being Java, West Kalimantan, Lampung, North Sumatra, and South Sumatra. To combat this, partners have come together in the three day “Satu Hati” program sponsored by the Sheraton hotel and the U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya.
U.S. FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigations) Legal Attache at the embassy in Jakarta, Todd Tumbbleson, presented on the work the U.S. government is doing to combat trafficking and apprehend people engaging in criminal acts with underage victims. HE spoke to an audience of NGO activists, government and community representatives as well as young students and professionals. 550 people attended the seminar which also included the testimony from a sixteen year old trafficking survivor in Surabaya. The program continues with days of public awareness activities with a fair at Tunjungan Plaza where the U.S. Consulate will present materials on the issues of trafficking as well as the annual State Department Trafficking in Persons report. The U.S. is committed to combating this form of “modern slavery” and this is one of many programs to address this issue in Indonesia. For further information on the Trafficking in Persons report or U.S. projects visit (http://indonesian.jakarta.usembassy.gov/laporan-politik/perdangangan-manusia.html)
Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton said in response to visiting a shelter for trafficking victims, “Last year, I visited a shelter for trafficking survivors. I was embraced by children who should have been in grade school, but were instead recovering from having been enslaved in a brothel. We know trafficking in persons affects every region and every country in the world, but looking into the eyes of those girls and hearing their stories firsthand brought home for me once again the very real and personal tragedy of modern slavery. That’s why over the past decade the United States and the international community have made the solemn commitment to fight this scourge wherever it exists. Those girls, and the millions of people they represent around the world, are a call to action to deliver on the promises of the last decade.” As part of this work, the U.S. government releases an annual report on trafficking in persons to help address the issue and create awareness, it works with local partners to help develop capacity to prosecute traffickers, and helps support rehabilitation shelters and promote education. The work of the FBI and other U.S. government representatives here in Indonesia on this issue is part of the Comprehensive Partnership between these two nations to address issues of common concern like putting an end to human trafficking.