Increasing Victim Identification in Indonesia

Increasing Victim Identification and Improving Access to Criminal Justice in Human Trafficking Cases in Indonesia

Implementing Agency: NEXUS Institute

Geographic Scope: Indonesia

Years: 2016-2018

Project Summary: In many countries in the world, identification of trafficking victims remains a largely haphazard, inefficient and ineffective process. Many trafficking victims fall between the cracks and are never officially identified or recognized as victims of human trafficking in either their home country or in the country in which they are exploited. This failure to identify victims is one of the greatest obstacles facing governments and civil society alike in achieving the progress needed in combating the crime and human rights violation of human trafficking. The lack of identification means that no criminal process is triggered to investigate, prosecute and convict the traffickers. Nor is legal redress through civil action likely for victims of trafficking who have not been identified through official processes. At the same time, victims will not receive care needed to recover, which correlates with low numbers of victims enabled to cooperate with investigations and to testify as witnesses against trafficking operations. In short, identification is the first step, indeed the necessary step, to end the impunity of traffickers and to secure access to justice for trafficking victims.

While this is an issue for most countries, the work of this project focuses on Indonesia. In Indonesia, at the village level, where most trafficking victims return and live, doing their best to reintegrate into family and society after their trafficking ordeal, there is a lack of capacity among frontline actors to screen and/or identify these returned trafficking victims and refer them for formal identification and protection. NEXUS’ past research and interviews with trafficking victims in Indonesia found that there are individuals and institutions that, if trained and sensitized on this issue at the village level, can contribute greatly to the identification and referral of unidentified and unassisted trafficking victims. Transforming the findings of this research to improved practices in the field, NEXUS is implementing this pilot project in three villages in three districts in West Java to increase the capacity of village-based police and other duty bearers to identify potential trafficking victims and refer them to the relevant institutions for formal identification and protection, including access to justice.

West Java, Indonesia

indonesia

This project will increase communication, cooperation and competency among police and village stakeholders to effectively and appropriately recognize signs of human trafficking and refer previously unidentified trafficking victims for formal identification. In so doing, the project will increase the number of Indonesian trafficking victims who are formally identified, informed of their rights and referred for protection. This project will also review and analyze “real life” evidence from interviews with trafficking victims and, based upon that evidence, offer concrete steps and tools to address identification problems that thwart the initiation of the criminal justice process as well as other appropriate responses that occur when the human trafficking framework is triggered. The model and approach piloted in this project will be applicable beyond Indonesia, offering guidance that can lead to an improved ability to identify trafficked persons, thereby strengthening the criminal justice response and the provision of assistance and protection to further victims’ recovery.

The project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia-Asia Program to Combat Trafficking in Persons (AAPTIP).

The project description is available in English and in Bahasa Indonesian.

Project Publications:

Seeing the Unseen: Barriers and Opportunities in the Identification of Trafficking Victims in Indonesia (2018)

In many countries in the world, including in Indonesia, identification of trafficking victims remains one of the more challenging and vexing aspects of anti-trafficking efforts. Many trafficking victims are never officially identified or recognized as victims of human trafficking and, as such, essentially “fall through the cracks” of the anti-trafficking response. And yet the identification of trafficked persons is a critical, indeed necessary, step to combat human trafficking. Victims must first be identified before they can be offered assistance and protection. Identification is also essential for the criminal process to be triggered and to ensure trafficking victims’ access to justice. Understanding who is (and is not) identified as trafficked (and why this happens) is critical for improving the identification of Indonesian trafficking victims and, by extension, their access to protection and justice. As such, this paper considers patterns of both successful and unsuccessful identification of Indonesian trafficking victims who have been trafficked for various forms of labor, as well as the different issues that inform whether or not Indonesian trafficking victims are formally identified as trafficking victims. These include: the nature of trafficking, with victims isolated, controlled and “out of sight”; institutional challenges in the identification response; and the decisions and behaviors of trafficking victims themselves.

 

Identification and Referral of Trafficking Victims in Indonesia. Guidelines for Frontline Responders and Multi-Disciplinary Teams at the Village Level (2018)

Available in Bahasa Indonesian

Large numbers of Indonesian trafficking victims return home to their families and communities without ever being formally identified as victims of human trafficking or referred for assistance or access to justice. Urgent attention is needed to how best to identify and support Indonesian trafficking victims in their recovery and reintegration. This means, among other strategies, working in victims’ home villages to enhance the identification and referral of unidentified and unassisted trafficking victims. The Identification and Referral Guidelines are a practical tool to be used by multi-disciplinary frontline responders to enhance the voluntary and informed identification of previously unidentified victims who are living in their home communities and who do not have access to identification and assistance. The Guidelines provide practical step-by-step guidance to village-based frontline responders on how to conduct preliminary identification of presumed victims and support them to refer trafficking victims to relevant institutions and organizations to access the protections to which they are entitled. While piloted in Indonesia, these guidelines have broader relevance, offering practical models, resources and guidance to improve the identification of trafficking victims in their home communities and their referral for assistance, as well as access to justice.

 

Directory of Services for Indonesian Trafficking Victims and Victim/Witnesses: West Java and Jakarta. Second Edition (2018)

Available in Bahasa Indonesian

This Directory of Services, updated in 2018, is a vital tool for Indonesia trafficking victims to access the assistance needed to recover and reintegrate after trafficking. Many Indonesian trafficking victims return home without having been identified or assisted. They return to live in their home communities without knowing that they have rights and entitlements as victims of the crime of human trafficking. Too often they are also unaware of the services and support available to them from the Indonesian Government and civil society at the national, district and local levels. This user-friendly, accessible Directory provides practical information to trafficked persons in Indonesia about the services available to them, which can support their recovery and reintegration, and how to receive these services. The Directory covers government and NGO services in Jakarta and seven districts in West Java and provides information about what constitutes human trafficking, the different forms of human trafficking, examples of different trafficking experiences and answers to frequently asked questions on this complex and important issue. It also provides information about assistance and services available to those who wish to serve as victim/witnesses in legal proceedings against traffickers. The information is provided in simple, comprehensible language and a visually accessible format to ensure comprehension of information across age, language capacity and level of education.

 

Directory of Services for Indonesian Trafficking Victims and Victim/Witnesses: West Java and Jakarta (2017)

Available in Bahasa Indonesian

This Directory of Services is a vital tool for Indonesia trafficking victims to access the assistance needed to recover and reintegrate after trafficking. Many Indonesian trafficking victims return home without having been identified or assisted. They return to live in their home communities without knowing that they have rights and entitlements as victims of the crime of human trafficking. Too often they are also unaware of the services and support available to them from the Indonesian Government and civil society at the national, district and local levels. This user-friendly, accessible Directory provides practical information to trafficked persons in Indonesia about the services available to them, which can support their recovery and reintegration, and how to receive these services. The Directory covers government and NGO services in Jakarta and seven districts in West Java and provides information about what constitutes human trafficking, the different forms of human trafficking, examples of different trafficking experiences and answers to frequently asked questions on this complex and important issue. It also provides information about assistance and services available to those who wish to serve as victim/witnesses in legal proceedings against traffickers. The information is provided in simple, comprehensible language and a visually accessible format to ensure comprehension of information across age, language capacity and level of education.

 

Photograph by Peter Biro for the NEXUS Institute: A man labors in a field in Indonesia. All rights reserved.