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Jakarta Post

Dolly residents, sex workers, refuse compensation

  • Indra Harsaputra

    The Jakarta Post

Surabaya   /   Wed, June 18, 2014   /  07:06 pm

Workers and residents in the Dolly red-light district, dubbed Southeast Asia's largest red-light district, have refused compensation money from the Surabaya administration, with the latter scheduled to forcibly close the district on Wednesday.

During the protests, several workers distributed invitations to pick up the compensation money to their fellow protesters while encouraging them to destroy the invitations. 

"Here's the invitation from the district. Read it and then burn it," a sex worker said on Wednesday.

The invitation stipulates that pimps and sex workers are able to pick up their compensation at the Koramil Sawahan post office, Surabaya, within five days, starting from Thursday until next Monday.

The Social Affairs Ministry has allocated Rp 8 billion (US$672,664) to be paid as compensation and each sex worker will be given roughly Rp 5 million. 

Dolly is home to 1,187 sex workers, 311 pimps and around 300 brothels. Some 400 residents also earn a living running various businesses in the area.

Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini, widely known as Risma, has pledged to close Dolly, saying the closure is in line with Bylaw No. 7/1999 banning the use of buildings as places of prostitution.

Along with Risma, Social Affairs Minister Salim Segaf Al Jufri will officially close the area at 8 p.m. on Wednesday.


According to Afeng, one of the protestors, the city administration did not take into consideration the workers' future and the move was unfair, especially because of the minimal compensation offered. 


Previously, Surabaya Social Affairs Agency head Supomo said before closing the red-light district, the city administration had provided entrepreneurial training and job opportunities to pimps, prostitutes and members of the local community so they could start new lives. (fss)

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