UCA News

Human trafficking in Indonesia a tough nut to crack

Activists say the scourge is so widespread that they are only scratching the surface
Human trafficking in Indonesia a tough nut to crack

A copy of the Indonesian translation of the Vatican document 'Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking.' (Photo: Katharina R. Lestari/UCA News)

Published: March 15, 2021 10:02 AM GMT
Updated: March 15, 2021 10:05 AM GMT

Fransiska (not her real name) was only 32 and still working as a babysitter in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta when a group of four matchmakers — two men and two women — introduced her to three Taiwanese men on three separate occasions back in December 2018.

She refused to marry the first and second. The third, however, she felt compelled to accept because of the offers the matchmakers made to her family, who knew them well. 

“I was told that by marrying him, I could financially support my parents living in a remote village in West Kalimantan province and help renovate their house because the man was rich enough. Who could say no to that?” she said.

The Catholic was given three days by the matchmakers to return to her village to arrange everything needed for her marriage, including applying for a passport and obtaining a letter for new residency.

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Dear reader,
Trafficking is one of the largest criminal industries in the world, only outdone by drugs and arms trafficking, and is the fastest-growing crime today.
Victims come from every continent and are trafficked within and to every continent. Asia is notorious as a hotbed of trafficking.
In this series, UCA News introduces our readers to this problem, its victims, and the efforts of those who shine the light of the Gospel on what the Vatican calls “these varied and brutal denials of human dignity.”
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William J. Grimm
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