The government maintained protection efforts. Officials did not collect comprehensive data on victims identified, but disparate government entities sometimes reported their own statistics. In 2016, the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection (MoWECP) reported partnering with a communications company to collate open source information on 943 trafficking victims featured in 65 print, online, and broadcast media sources as an attempt to broaden victim identification methods. Separately, the Commission for the Protection of Children officially identified 307 child trafficking victims. However, it was unclear if either of these processes led to investigations or the provision of victim protective services. The government’s overseas crisis center complaint system received 4,761 complaints from workers placed overseas, including 56 confirmed trafficking cases and 1,928 cases with trafficking indicators. Although the government reportedly initiated investigations based on these complaints, figures were unavailable. The government body managing this complaint system also led an interagency effort to establish five integrated one-stop service centers to assist and educate Indonesians aiming to travel abroad for work and those returning from overseas. One of the service centers reported assisting 4,500 deportees with safe migration education, renewal of passports, working visas, and reintegration services. An international organization partnered with the government to identify and provide services to 336 Indonesian and foreign trafficking victims, including 159 individuals subjected to trafficking in the fishing industry. The MFA also assisted 478 Indonesian trafficking victims overseas through its consulates and embassies—an increase from 413 in the previous reporting period. In 2016, the MFA repatriated 13,714 Indonesian nationals, and foreign governments deported 27,855, compared to 9,039 repatriations and 85,490 deportations in 2015. The MFA screened for and positively identified 602 Indonesian trafficking victims among these two figures, comparted to 541 in 2015, and directly assisted in the repatriation of 460 of them, compared to 306 in 2015. It secured a total of $240,398 in restitution for these victims, provided them with short-term shelter and other services upon return, and referred them to local government entities for further care.
While the government had standard operating procedures for proactive victim identification, it did not consistently employ them, nor did it follow positive identification with investigative or protective procedures in a majority of cases. It continued to rely on international organizations and NGOs to identify victims, especially foreign victims in Indonesia, and to supplement the protective services it funded. Although the government ratified the ILO Maritime Labor Convention in September and established a fishing vessel victim screening protocol in 2015, it did not uniformly adhere to either mechanism during the reporting period. The government continued to work with NGOs to identify trafficking victims among the crews of ships grounded or destroyed as part of the 2014 moratorium on illegal fishing vessels, but figures were unavailable at the end of the reporting period.
The government initiated new mechanisms to facilitate improved victim protection services throughout the reporting period, but it was unclear how often it used these mechanisms. In January, the MFA collaborated with industry and civil society, including migrant worker advocacy groups, to launch a mobile application that provided safe travel tips, a social media platform, and a panic button in case of emergencies for Indonesian citizens traveling abroad. The application connects users to the MFA’s hotline and the closest Indonesian overseas embassies and consulates. In April, the MFA established a taskforce to encourage undocumented and overstay Indonesian migrant workers to request repatriation. The Ministry of Home Affairs also issued formal instructions to allocate funding for district-level anti-trafficking taskforces to facilitate victim repatriation. For the fourth year in a row, a draft law on the protection of domestic workers in Indonesia stalled in the national legislature. An international organization reported trafficking victims were often unaware of government reintegration services, and follow-up services for victims who had departed shelters remained insufficient. The Ministry of Health was responsible for paying victims’ health care, which national police hospitals were obligated to provide free of charge; NGOs and government officials reported some hospital staff were unaware of this duty or unwilling to provide care without compensation.
During the reporting period, the government’s witness protection unit provided legal assistance to at least 165 trafficking victims, compared to 88 in 2015. Since multiple agencies provided legal assistance with varying degrees of adherence to recordkeeping protocols, the total number who received such aid is unknown. The law allows victims to obtain restitution from their traffickers, and most of the victims involved in 152 cases received compensation during the year. There were no reports that the government punished victims for crimes committed as a result of being subjected to trafficking, but inadequate efforts to screen vulnerable groups for trafficking indicators, including during raids to arrest persons in prostitution or combat illegal fishing, may have resulted in the punishment or deportation of unidentified trafficking victims. The government did not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they may face hardship or retribution.