The Indonesian government announced a plant to shut down all the 168 red-light districts, in an effort to minimize prostitution in Indonesia.
Indonesian daily, Jakarta Post, reported that Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa said that the government has already shut down 68 red-light districts, while another 100 would be closed down within three years. Indonesian authorities already managed to close Jakarta’s most notorious red-light districts, called Kalijodo, and replace them with parks.
The government of Indonesia, a country with an estimated $872.6 billion GDP in 2015, wants to deal with the stereotype of prostitution in Indonesia. Prostitution is already considered illegal, but in practice it was tolerated and regulated. In recent years, the situation got out of control, as child sex tourism has become an issue at the resort islands of Batam and Bali.
Sonny Manalu, a senior official at the social affairs ministry told AFP news agency about the decision of the government to deal with the red-light districts. “We believe that red-light districts will affect children who live nearby negatively…Prostitution can never be erased from the Earth but we must try to stop it corrupting our youth.”
For the former women who worked in the red-light districts, Parawansa said that the authorities have established a specialized facility in which the women would be able to learn new skills to be able to join the regular market.
The Minister told Jakarta Post that a ministry’s women social working facility (PSKW), has been established and the facility “is open for all former prostitutes.” Authorities know, that many women in Indonesia, were indirectly forced to become prostitutes because the money were good and could offer a wait out of poverty. In other cases, the women were forced to enter prostitution by “family” and “friends.”
During the operation at Kalijodo, the Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian said the authorities were cleaning the area of thugs and criminals. According to Jakarta Post, last week, police officers raided the house of Abdul Aziz, a notorious figure in the area, and found hundreds of sharp weapons and dozens of crates of alcohol. The man was charged for arms trade and human trafficking as he employed young girls as prostitutes in his bars.