News/ INDONESIA: APPEALS ALONE WON'T STOP CHILD PROSTITUTION.

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Subject: News/ INDONESIA: APPEALS ALONE WON'T STOP CHILD PROSTITUTION.
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Sun May 28 2000 - 12:06:30 EDT


3-30-00 INDONESIA: APPEALS ALONE WON'T STOP CHILD PROSTITUTION.
JAKARTA (JP): The First Lady said on Wednesday that moral appeals alone
would not solve child prostitution.
Opening a one-day workshop on the sexual exploitation of young girls, Sinta
Nuriyah said that solutions focusing on morals and religion, "without
understanding gender relationships within families, in which girls are more
often victims" would not solve the real problem.
Workshop organizers from the Center of Community Development Studies at
Atmajaya Catholic University said they were focusing on female sexual
exploitation because its causes were "different".
The belief that having sex with youngsters is safer and the needs of poor
families to survive the economic crisis have both led to the increase in
child sex workers, the First Lady said.
Latest estimates from researchers show there are at least 40,000 girls
under 18 working as sex workers.
"... the possibility of an increase in child sex workers has been predicted
by (health expert) Ibu Nafsiah Mboy", bearing in mind the shift of sex
tourists to Indonesia from Thailand, Nuriyah said.
Campaigns against the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) have led
to a "false" awareness about sexual behavior, she said. People who
previously did not care about a partner's age are now choosing children,
she added.
Nongovernmental organizations in the workshop charged that Indonesia had
broken its promise to the world to protect its children from prostitution.
They called for a national action plan against commercial sex in line with
the 1996 Stockholm Convention, which Indonesia was a signatory to.
Participants were obviously affected while watching a play involving child
sex workers who described their experiences.
One child, who was depicted as being sold by her father, said, "As poor as
my father is, he still has a goat, but he sold me anyway."
Keri Lasmi Sugiarti from Bandung's Bahtera Foundation said, "Society looks
at these children not as victims but as garbage." She added that "this kind
of discrimination can hamper a child's psychosocial development".
Rosmalinda, a child protection activist, said that staff in her office in
Medan, North Sumatra, were frequently intimidated by people who accused her
organization of supporting prostitution.
Nongovernmental organizations from Medan, Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta,
Surabaya, Solo and Batam have been working with the problem of child
prostitutes for almost one year. (08)

  The Jakarta Post.
JAKARTA POST 30/03/2000 P2


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