Thousands of Indonesians Fall Victims to Slavery, Observer Says

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Around 714,100 Indonesians are victims of slavery and/or human trafficking, according to the 2014 Global Slavery Index as released by the Walk Free Foundation in London on Monday, November 17, 2014.

    Modern practices of slavery in Indonesia are driven by poverty and economic disparity which stems from corrupt practices, and it is known that around 11 percent of Indonesians live in poverty, and 70 percent of Indonesians still work in the unregulated, informal sector.

    "Aside from corruption and poverty, a population boom that goes unchecked is also another important factor that keeps modern-day slavery running," said Kevin Bales, one of the researchers who compiled the report.

    Although the percentage of slavery victims out of the total population in Indonesia is relatively minuscule at 0.286 percent, Indonesia's massive population of around 250 million means that it ranks eighth out of all the countries surveyed in the GSI in 2014.

    As the world's second largest source for migrant workers, Indonesia has attempted to abolish such practices by imposing a moratorium on sending migrant workers abroad - but plenty of clandestine routes and brokers have emerged in its' place, which makes more migrant workers more vulnerable to modern forms of slavery and/or bonded labour, said the report.