TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Walk Free Foundation researcher Khatarine Bryant, said that around 714,000 Indonesians have become victims of modern-day slavery. The foundation's research result puts Indonesia on rank 17 out of 25 Asia-Pacific countries.
"Modern-day slavery is common among migrant workers," said Katharine during the launching of the Global Slavery Index 2014 in Jakarta on Tuesday, November 18, 2014. The migrant workers were tricked into applying for a job overseas and then the employer trapped them.
Another form of slavery is forced marriage on girls. "Little girls are forced to marry much older men," she said. The result also identifies other forms of slavery such as forced labor, unpaid labor, commercial sex slavery and human trafficking.
In Asia, victims of slavery reach 23.5 million people. or two third of the worldwide total of 35.8 million victims. The figure is much higher than last year's 29.7 million. Indonesia has the highest slavery victims with 14.9 million people, followed by China with 3.24 million. Internationally, Indonesia is ranked at number 102 from 167 countries.
Even though slavery in Indonesia continues to run rampant, Indonesia still has laws that can adequately protect its people from slavery.
Migrant Care director Anis Hidayah, said that one of the main causes that contributes in the rise of slavery victims in the case of migrant workers is the presence of illegal private employment services that hire workers. "They tempt workers and falsify all of [the workers'] documents," said Anis.
Guntur Witjaksono, director of oversease employment at the Ministry of Manpower, said that there are still many problems in sending workers to work abroad. "We are re-selecting the companies that [are authorized] to send workers overseas," he said.