CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 17 August 2019

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Church in Indonesia publishes anti-trafficking guide

JAKARTA (UCAN): The Indonesian bishops’ Commission for Justice and Peace and the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People Catholic Church in Indonesia introduced a Bahasa translation of the Vatican’s anti-human trafficking document, Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking, to help people better understand the Church’s stance on the crime and warn others about the danger it poses.
 
The Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development published the 36-page document in January this year, aiming to promote understanding, prevent and eradicate the trafficking of persons, and to protect victims and aid in their recovery.
 
The document is the result of extensive consultations with Church leaders, scholars, experienced practitioners and partner organisations working in the field.
 
Jesuit Father Ignatius Ismartono, an adviser to Sahabat Insan, a charity dealing with issues faced by Indonesian migrant workers, took on the task of translation work in cooperation with Jesuit Father Adrianus Suyadi, the social ministries secretary at the Jesuit Conference of the Asia Pacific.
 
“What the pope says in the document is also the concern of the Indonesian people. That is why I translated it into Bahasa to make it easier for Indonesian people to understand it,” Father Ismartono said at the launch of the printed translation in Jakarta on June 18.
 
Father Suyadi said many people only focus on response and advocacy when dealing with human trafficking. 
 
 “But this document gives a wider understanding of the whole issue. This what makes it very important to Catholics,” he said.
 
The document describes how in industries such as agriculture, fishing, construction and mining, human trafficking has proliferated through collaboration among numerous and various perpetrators making it a phenomenon more complex than most people think. 
 
Ursuline Sister Irena Handayani of the Caring for Migrant Workers Network in the Archdiocese of Jakarta, said the translation should help her raise awareness about the problem.
 
“I have told many people what human trafficking is all about, but many still don’t get it. With this Indonesian translation to hand, I believe more will be aware of the dangers,” she said.
 
Migrant advocacy groups and the Catholic Church say human trafficking is a major problem in Indonesia and consider the rules regulating employment agencies and brokers sending people abroad to work to be lax.
 
Many cases have emerged where Indonesian workers have fallen victim to exploitation by employers overseas. Others have been physically abused ore even killed.
 
According to the International Organisation for Migration East Nusa Tenggara province has the highest number of human trafficking cases in Indonesia. There have been at least 7,200 victims from the province, 82 per cent of whom were women.

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