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Sex Work in Indonesia

Government closes down long established red light areas


Update: Redlights to be extinguished by 2019...

Indonesia closes red light areas and sets up a 'retraining' camp for arrested sex workers

Link Here 24th February 2016
Full story: Sex Work in Indonesia...Government closes down long established red light areas
Indonesia's governmant has said that the closure of the Kalijodo red light district in North and West Jakarta is just one step towards closing all 168 such areas across the country by 2019.

The government has already close down 68 red-light districts, while another 100 would be closed down within three years, said Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa.

In connection with the closure of Kalijodo red-light district, the Social Affairs Ministry has offered former sex workers in the Kalijodo red-light district training to provide them with the various skills they need for better jobs after leaving the district, which is being demolished by the Jakarta city administration.

Those, particularly from outside Jakarta, who take up the offers would be trained at the ministry's women social working facility (PSKW), said Khofifah during a visit to the center in Pasar Rebo, East Jakarta.

This place is open for all former prostitutes from outside Jakarta. We will register them after they arrive here.

However, so far no former prostitute has come to the PSKW to seek assistance at the ministry's facility, which currently only accommodates 25 former sex workers, who were arrested by Public Order Agency officers, although the center can accommodate some 120 people.



Update: Taking Notice...

Police weigh in as sex workers protest the closure of their red light area

Link Here3rd August 2014
Full story: Sex Work in Indonesia...Government closes down long established red light areas
Indonesia's sex workers have been protesting against a local authority which has announced the closure of the sex trade. In Surabaya's famous Dolly red light district, local residents, pimps and sex workers have been battling with law enforcement.

On Sunday afternoon riot police moved in to occupy Dolly, in an attempt to reinforce an earlier blanket shutdown of the local sex industry. Those who resisted the encroachment were shot at with tear gas, pummelled by baton-wielding officers, and ultimately forced to flee the area in fear of further bloodshed or detention. By the end of the melee 10 people had been arrested, including the leader of the Local Workers Front (FPL), Ari Saputro, who has been spearheading community resistance efforts since the Surabaya city government initiated a shutdown of the area on June 18.

Police weighed in when Saputro and other members of the FPL ceremoniously tore down and set fire to a placard erected by the city's authorities to signify Dolly's foreclosure, as well as a recent name change. We reject the instalment of this sign here, Saputro reportedly said as he ripped out the placard, And after Ramadan, we will operate as normal. We refuse to shut down!

Riot police then gathered in response to the immolated placard, whilst Saputro and other protestors attempted to barricade their positions with stacks of flaming tyres, knowing that they had defied an earlier police order to leave the placard intact or else face detention for vandalism .

On Sunday evening several news channels released footage of the police crackdown, showing pictures of bloodied protestors being dragged away from smouldering wreckage, including one man who was repeatedly punched in the face by what appears to be a plain-clothed police officer, even though he had already been restrained by two other officers.



A Miserable Anniversary...

Indonesian politician set to close brothels as an anniversary gift

Link Here19th July 2014
Full story: Sex Work in Indonesia...Government closes down long established red light areas
At least seven Indonesian red-light districts in Malang regency, East Java, are to be closed down by the end of November.

Malang administration secretary Abdul Malik said that the prostitution centers would be given a deadline of November 28, 2014 to shut down business, the date of the regency's 1254th anniversary. The closures will be a gift for the regency's anniversary, Malik said.

The seven red-light districts to be closed are Suko in Sumberpucung district, Kebobang in Wonosari, Kalikudu in Pujon, Slorok in Kromengan, Girun in Gondanglegi, Embong Miring in Ngantang and Sendangbiru in Sumbermanjing Wetan district.

Malik said the buildings of the red-light districts would be converted into new businesses.


27th November

Update: Morality Life Skills...

East Java to send sex workers home with a dose of religion, a little cash, and training in factory work

East Java Governor Soekarwo last week announced that his administration planned to close down all the 47 red-light districts spread across the province's 33 regencies and municipalities by next year, or before the end of his term in 2014 at the latest. He also said an unlimited budget would be allocated to realize the plan.

The sooner they are all closed down the better. Morality programs need to be prioritized, he said.

Soekarwo said his administration did not tolerate immoral acts, thus relocation would not be an option in dealing with prostitution. All sex workers would be sent home after being given a dose of religion and appropriate life-skills training, such as how to sew rice or how to work in a factory.  The provincial administration will give them Rp 3 million [US$330] each to start a new life in their respective home villages, he said.

The East Java branch of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), which had for the last few years been running a program called the Association of Preachers for Red-Light Districts will also contribute to life-skills training.

Chairman of the association, Abdussomad Buchori, said of the sex workers sent packing: We give them religious instruction while the administration provides them with skills and funding for a new life .

Provincial councillor Kuswiyanto welcomed the administration's plan but warned that the strategy used must be clearly thought through. We need to talk to all the stakeholders, especially those in the commercial-sex business, he said.


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