INDONESIA: Combating Human Trafficking in Indonesia

Monday, September 17, 2012
UN Information Center
South Eastern Asia
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

To bring attention to the intolerable trade, “Never Again!” recounts the stories of several victims and illustrates the harsh realities of trafficking in persons, with relation to labour migration. One of the accounts chronicles the personal experience of Memey, a 28-year old former Indonesian migrant worker who was sold to traffickers in Malaysia in 2006. Memey has since escaped and become a front runner in battling human trafficking, not only actively representing those who cannot speak for themselves but also counseling others who have been victimized.

After the film, International Organization for Migration (IOM) Deputy Chief of Mission Chief Steve Hamilton opened a discussion with remarks by US Ambassador Scot Marciel, Norwegian Ambassador Stig Traavik and Ibu Luly Altruaswati of the Indonesian Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection.

A lively exchange ensued on how future efforts might better protect populations under threat, including concerns about legislation. Memey herself was present and participated in the discussion. US Ambassador Scot Marciel said “Human trafficking is probably the worst crime of all. There's not one government that can fight it alone, it requires collaboration of all parties involved.”

As the session ended, Memey closed with a quote: “Now I try to smile for others, not only for myself.”

Screened at the production studio @america in Jakarta's busy Pacific Place Mall, the documentary was produced by the IOM with the support of the US Department of State's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. IOM is working with UN Population Fund and the World Health Organization on a programme ("EMPOWER!") that supports the Government of Indonesia to provide counseling services and support to victims of trafficking, including those who, like Memey, are HIV positive.