Children still ‘fall victim of trafficking, sexual abuse’
JAKARTA: The National Commission for Child Protection said thousands of Indonesian children had become the prey of sex traffickers due to poverty and economic problems.
The commission recorded that 95,000 children had fallen into sexual trafficking in 2009, up from 70,000 children the year earlier.
The commission’s secretary-general, Arist Merdeka Sirait, said over the weekend that most of the children were sold to Malaysian and Taiwanese dealers to perform sexual services on high-paying customers in those countries.
The World Bank estimated that Indonesia’s GDP per capita was US$2,254 in 2008, which indicates that people spent around $6 a day, although many believe that most of the population lives under $2 a day.
The Regional Autonomy Watch (KPPOD) assumed that the unsuccessful regional autonomy had triggered failure in the improvement of local people’s prosperity due to corruption and bad management.
The KPPOD’s research manager, Sigit Murwito, said at least 3,000 bylaws had hampered investment.
Arist said the government had not prioritized children as the country’s important assets for the future, as many policies, including bylaws, were issued without considering children’s lives.
He also criticized the increasing cases of sexual violence happening at home, schools and play grounds across the country.
“Our 2009 record shows that 1253 children were victims of sexual violence committed by their families and teachers at schools,” he said, adding that the number had increased from 800 cases last year.
Arist said the number could significantly increase next year if the government did not make meaningful policies to eradicate poverty.