Behind Woman Trafficking for Prostitution in the Truck Base in Batang Indonesia

Behind Woman Trafficking for Prostitution in the Truck Base in Batang Indonesia

Behind Woman Trafficking for Prostitution in the Truck Base in Batang Indonesia

Batang district is located in the northern coast. Its territory becomes an important part in the movement and distribution path of goods, services and people in Java. This condition affects the emergence of some of truck bases along the territory. It is noted that there are four truck bases such as Tamanan Banyu Putih, Plelen, Penundan and Banyuputih. The existence of these bases is finally able to mobilize people’s economy and to create informal jobs to the surrounding community. On the other hand, the existence of the truck bases also nourishes hidden prostitutions and strengthen Batang to be the icon of sex tourism in Pekalongan-Semarang track. This assumption is not redundant because, in addition to four places above, there are five (5) localizations for prostitution in Batang, namely, Bong China, Boyongsari, Jrakah Payung, Luwes Surodadi, Wuni, Tenggulangharjo, and Subah (Setiowati, 2013, 1).

Prostitution, on the one hand, is able to mobilize the economy of local communities and the illegal market with large turnover. In 2008, Deputy III of the field of woman protection in the ministry of women’s empowerment, the Republic of Indonesia, Subagyo informed that the velocity of money on human trafficking (women) is much larger than the illegal logging or narcotic so that it is quite tempting for the perpetrators. In 2008, the turnover in human trafficking reached IDR 32 trillion to 36 trillion, while illegal logging and narcotics were IDR 15 trillion and 25 trillion respectively (Hasan, 2005, 133). Despite the large turnover, the long-term excess of prostitution detriments the society in terms of the decreased quality of Batang people’s life, from the aspects of a moral, social and health. In the field of moral, there has been moral degradation due to the omission of a systemic practice of adultery. In the social aspect, there is the erosion of respect for the human rights of women. Then, in health, it is the increasing findings about sexually transmitted diseases such as Raja Singa (GO) and HIV / AIDS. Koentjoro said that in a frame called the ethics of moral and care, in fact prostitution would endanger a person’s personality and life of both men and women, affect family life and marriage, spread diseases and even lead to social disorganization (Koentjoro, 2005, 84). Andrea Di Nicola and Paulo Ruspini say that trafficking in human beings for sexual exploitation is one of the most worrying and one of the largest states in illegal markets of our society (Nicola and Ruspini, 2010. 25). Muhammad Fajar Sajidin said that prostitution in his area has been in alarming levels, and further facilitate the spread of HIV / AIDS. People with HIV / AIDS in Batang during 2013 have reached 46 people and increase in 2014 to 180 people. The number of prostitutes spread over a number of localization in Batang was recorded as many as 562 people, but those who practiced as prostitutes reached 700’s, and within the last one year, the number of male customers of sex workers has been estimated at 23,340 people. Syphilis prevalence in Batang is even higher than the city of Semarang and Surabaya. Nationally, the prevalence of HIV / AIDS in Batang is also greater. Batang currently ranks the second in Central Java after Pati for the finding of HIV / AIDS cases (Rismawati, 2014, 3)

The issue of human trafficking has been the global agenda since it was defined in the First Protocol to the 2000 Palermo Convention. Trafficking in human beings shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs (Andrea and Ruspini, 2009, 24). The Palermo Convention shows that human trafficking is a serious problem, and the issue of global humanity that needs international cooperation to prevent, combat and protect victims of human trafficking.

The cases of human trafficking, especially women, for prostitution also occur in Indonesia. The figure of human trafficking in Indonesia from year to year is increasing. According to the data in the report released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Indonesia in 2011, Indonesia ranked as the top by 3943 the number of human trafficking victims. This condition does not directly portray that Indonesia has become a destination for sex tourism and prostitution haven for business customers on an international scale. The research conducted by Dzuhayatin and Silawati show that twenty-five interviewed trafficked prostitutes reported that their clients were mainly Malaysians, Singaporeans and Indonesians; followed by Chinese, Arabs, Bruneians, Indians, Taiwanese and Westerners (Europe and USA). Ages ranged between 18 and 60 and the mean was 39. The study also highlighted that a large group of clients was made up of old Chinese men who bought the time of prostitutes in order to receive care and attention (ibid.). Moreover, a significant number of customers were Western sex tourists who exploited the low costs of services, Buying women for sexual activity was considered cheap and exotic entertainment, not affordable in their countries of origin. Respondents said that for the amount of US$100, these men could afford to pay travel costs, stay in 3-star hotels, take all meals in restaurants, and book young women for 2 nights (Dzuhayatin and Silawati, 2002, 81 – 82). . of that number, most cases occurred in West Java, which were 920 cases or 23.33%. The report of the International Labor Organization (ILO-2005) also displays the trafficking data in forced labor issues. 2.45% of the total victims of forced labor were the victims of trafficking and 43% were the victims of commercial sexual exploitation (Subono. 2010, 23). Trafficked women continue to grow, but because of the typology of trafficking cases is like an iceberg phenomenon, the existing data does not represent the data which is actually happening.

The facts show that there were 12 women who suffered HIV / AIDS found in the truck bases of Penundan in Batang in 2014. This case does not directly imply the practice of woman trafficking in this region. Female’s body and sexuality are exploited as commodities. This condition is interesting to study because the issue of woman trafficking is linked to the dimensions of negligence upon women as victims by the state through laws and policies which are gender bias and the presence of unbalanced power relations between victims and other parties originating from the results of people’s social construction. Communities and countries always use double standards in view of woman trafficking in the prostitution sector.

Women are stigmatized as the offenders when in fact they are victims. They are treated as the objects of commodities to be exchanged and accumulated and used as a requirement for other parties to obtain economic profits, power and satisfaction, so that their position is always marginalized and subordinized by and in the structure of legal system, economic and social. This phenomenon raises a question mark, why woman trafficking remains the case even though the state law forbids and mentions it as a criminal offense. The issue of woman trafficking deserves to be discussed as it is related to women’s dignity and human rights and is also closely related to the fight against HIV/ AIDS and other infectious diseases that were subjected to point 6 of the MDGs.

Departing from the above background, the paper will reveal whby the system of local law on combating prostitution in Batang Indonesia was not effective in combating woman trafficking, and why women are trapped in woman trafficking for prostitution in the Truck Base of Penundan in Batang.

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