Experts tell public to be aware of pedophiles
An expert from the US Embassy in Jakarta said that his country implements a strict law on sexual abuse of children and will not tolerate any perpetrator wherever they live, including in Bali.
In a recent workshop entitled “The Dangers of Pedophilia for Children’s Future” held in Buleleng, the FBI special agent David Strange called on the people of Bali to be aware of pedophiles and called for their cooperation.
“Any action related to sexual abuse of children committed by a US national is illegal, because we have a very strict law on this matter,” he told 50 workshop participants.
Bali was chosen as a location to campaign against sexual abuse of children since the island is a hub for foreign tourists, including Americans, with American tourist numbers reaching up to 70,000 to 80,000 persons per year. Additionally, the FBI works in cooperation with the National Police and the Bali-based Committee Against Sexual Abuse (CASA).
“We definitely will not tolerate any sexual abuse of children throughout Indonesia,” Strange added.
He said it might not be easy for local people to distinguish the nationalities of white-skinned foreigners, adding that the FBI could also cooperate with consulates of any suspect’s origin country to bring them to court.
“We only hunt for suspected pedophiles from the US. But if anyone has information about a suspected pedophile of any nationality, we could help by contacting the consulate of the related country for further legal processing.”
Dr. Cokorda Bagus Jaya Lesmana Sp.Kj from CASA said he appreciated the US government’s seriousness in handling cases of pedophilia.
“If someone is proven guilty of committing pedophilia, they should report their whereabouts even after they have been released from jail. If they do not maintain this obligation, they are heavily punished and could become a fugitive,” he said.
CASA president LK Suryani said that pedophilia could also involve local people. She called on people in Buleleng to be vigilant of any suspicious behavior and to continuously monitor their children’s development.
“We should be aware of any strange behavior and consult with an expert if necessary, so that the problem will not get worse,” she said.
In the workshop, she also explained the impact of sexual abuse on children, and played a documentary film about Bali, which has been deemed a haven for foreign pedophiles.