The government maintained inadequate protection efforts. Officials did not collect comprehensive data on the number of victims identified. Disparate government entities sometimes reported their own statistics, making aggregate data incomparable to data reported in earlier periods and possibly double-counting victims as they came into contact with different government agencies. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) utilized procedures for victim identification to assist Indonesian citizens overseas, but the government did not have comprehensive or systematized SOPs for proactive victim identification or referral to rehabilitation services. Observers noted law enforcement did not use SOPs, especially at the municipality and district level. Observers expressed concern that the lack of SOPs and the government’s anti-trafficking infrastructure, which was under the purview of local-level police units and protection agencies who focused primarily on women and children, hindered the identification of victims overall, and of rural and male victims in particular. Additionally, the government’s inadequate efforts to screen vulnerable groups for trafficking indicators, including during raids to arrest persons in commercial sex and to combat illegal fishing, may have resulted in the punishment or deportation of unidentified trafficking victims. Police were sometimes unresponsive when victims attempted to report their trafficking circumstances. The government partnered with an international organization in 2018 to develop victim identification procedures but, for the second year, did not finalize the procedures during the reporting period. After identifying a potential victim, provincial police often approached NGO service providers for assistance rather than filing cases with provincial social service officials.
The government primarily coordinated rehabilitation services for victims of abuse, including trafficking victims, through local integrated service centers for women and children (P2TP2A). There were P2TP2As in all 34 provinces and approximately 436 districts. Provincial or district governments managed and funded the centers. Services included short-term shelter, medical care, counseling, family liaison services, and some vocational skills training; however, in practice, services varied based on local leadership and funding. Some P2TP2A facilities were only open for six hours a day, rather than the required 24 hours, and women living in rural areas or districts without a P2TP2A center had difficulty receiving support services. Officials acknowledged the central government’s Ministry of Social Affairs (MOSA) had not adequately disseminated legislation passed in 2014 to clarify the roles and responsibilities of provincial social affairs agencies regarding victim protection, resulting in a lack of coordination on victim services at the local level. NGOs continued to play a critical role in supplementing and filling gaps in government services—including for male victims, whom local governments often had to refer to NGOs for shelter. The Witness and Victim Protection Agency (LPSK) maintained a hotline and mobile application to provide information to all victims of crime on filing complaints and available government protection services; however, authorities did not provide statistics on the use of these mechanisms.
Trafficking victims entered and exited government shelters upon the approval of a government agency; victims did not have freedom of movement once placed in a shelter. MOSA funded and staffed two trauma centers in Jakarta and the Riau Islands that provided short-term shelter for male and female victims of violence, including trafficking victims. The center in Riau Islands only served Indonesian citizens who were in some form of distress in Malaysia; in 2019, the center repatriated 7,175 Indonesians from Malaysia but did not report how many of them were trafficking victims (2,755 repatriated in 2018, with no data on victim status). MOSA reported the Jakarta trauma center served 761 trafficking victims in 2019 (490 in 2018 and 1,291 in 2017), but it did not report the type of trafficking or the ages or genders of the victims. MOSA also funded and staffed a protection shelter for women who had experienced sexual violence; the government did not report the number of trafficking victims it housed in the women’s shelter in 2019, compared with 38 victims housed in 2018. Provincial social affairs agencies funded and operated local trauma centers that were available to trafficking victims; at the end of the reporting period, the government stated it had 27 trauma centers nationwide, an increase from 21 in 2018. MOSA reportedly did not fund transportation for all victims transiting Jakarta en route to home communities elsewhere in Indonesia, and instead relied on NGOs to cover some of the relevant costs. Observers noted MOSA did not adequately coordinate with its provincial capital counterparts to repatriate and rehabilitate victims. Civil society contacts reported protections were particularly lacking for male victims of forced labor in the fishing industry, in part due to poor coordination and lack of delineated roles and responsibilities among Indonesia’s diffuse interagency anti-trafficking infrastructure.
The government housed child victims of crimes in children’s homes funded by MOSA and provincial or district governments, and in some cases in partnership with local NGOs. The number of children’s homes decreased from 18 in 2018 to 14 in 2019; the government did not report how many child trafficking victims it housed in 2019, compared with 11 housed in 2018. Authorities disaggregated victim protection data using categorizations outside of the standard definition of trafficking. For example, the Commission for Protection of Children reported it identified “40 child trafficking cases, 43 cases of child commercial sexual exploitation, and 57 cases of child commercial sex” (compared with 11 cases of trafficking involving children and 65 cases of “child prostitution” in 2018). NGOs and past government reports estimated the number of child sex trafficking victims to be many thousands more.
The MFA continued to implement a 2018 regulation on the protection of Indonesian nationals overseas, which included trafficking victims. The regulation outlined early detection through risk mapping and required an immediate response to a complaint or report of abuse. Some Indonesian consular authorities overseas identified and referred Indonesian trafficking victims to care; the MFA reported it identified 259 such cases in 2019 (164 in 2018, 340 in 2017, and 478 in 2016). This figure included 228 domestic workers and 31 with unspecified circumstances. The MFA reported it referred 94 of the victims to social services agencies (95 in 2018); it did not report its actions regarding the additional 165 victims. The MFA also reported that it recovered approximately $14 million in back wages owed to migrant workers (unreported in 2018). The government housed foreign trafficking victims identified in Indonesia in MOSA’s Jakarta trauma center, or in one of 13 facilities that included immigration detention centers housing illegal migrants and shelters for irregular migrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers. The government allowed an international organization to provide counseling and legal services at some shelters. The government did not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they may face hardship or retribution.
Police requested victims stay in government shelters until the completion of relevant investigations, but most victims were only able to stay in the trauma centers for an average of two weeks due to government budget constraints. Women and children reportedly stayed longer, although the government did not provide data on the average length of stay or where victims went once authorities released them. Once the government released a victim from care, it did not track the victim, including for purposes of gathering testimony for their traffickers’ prosecution; instead, authorities relied on an international organization to remain in contact with the victims and provide follow-up assistance, if necessary. A general lack of adequate rehabilitative and reintegrative care, coupled with low awareness among village and local leaders, increased many victims’ risk of re-trafficking, particularly among fishermen returning to their communities after experiencing forced labor at sea.
The government’s universal healthcare system covered some of the medical needs of Indonesian victims; however, the system required identity documents that many Indonesian migrant workers returning from exploitation overseas did not possess. The Ministry of Health (MOH) was responsible for funding victims’ health care, which national police hospitals were obligated to provide free of charge. The MOH did not report if it trained hospital personnel to provide health services to victims of trafficking and violence in 2019, compared with training for hospital personnel in six provinces in 2018.
In 2017, the Supreme Court issued guidelines stipulating judges protect female victims during legal processes by considering psychological trauma and allowing video testimony. However, the government did not report if it consistently offered such protections during court proceedings for female trafficking victims. Authorities continued to implement regulations allowing the LPSK to add restitution to the perpetrator’s penalties before or after conviction for human trafficking and other crimes. The government allocated 56 billion Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) ($4 million) for the LPSK in 2020, a significant decrease from the 2019 fiscal year budget of $5.6 million. In 2019, the LPSK provided various protection services to 318 victims, family members of victims, and witnesses, including 106 men, 156 women, four boys, and 52 girls; authorities did not report how many of these were trafficking victims (70 victims in 2018, 64 in 2017, and 105 in 2016). Among these, LPSK officials sought a total of $215,000 in restitution for 44 victims, but courts only approved six cases amounting to approximately $87,000 (18 cases in 2018). The LPSK did not report the outcomes or status of the remaining cases. Indonesian law allowed convicted traffickers to serve additional imprisonment in lieu of paying restitution; as a result, civil society contacts noted most victims who won restitution were usually only able to secure a small amount, if any at all. Further compounding access to recompense and justice, some recruitment agencies harassed, intimidated, or filed defamation lawsuits against victims attempting to report their abuses. Many victims originated from remote rural areas and lacked the financial means necessary to travel to, or remain in, urban areas for the long duration of trial proceedings.