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Lea

Men, women and children make up those trafficked in Indonesia, subjected to forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation. Brokers working in rural areas are known to lure men and boys into forced labour on palm oil, rubber and tobacco plantations, while women and under-age girls are lured into work as domestics in private homes and as commercial sex workers. Rising unemployment and slowed job creation has pushed people into the informal sector unprotected by labour laws and thus made them more vulnerable to exploitation. There are currently only 18 shelters in Indonesia working to rescue and rehabilitate survivors of human trafficking.    Lea, now 26 and a native of Nafai village in Savannakhet province’s Kaisone district, was first sold as a teen to work in Thailand on a rubber plantation by a neighbour. After four months working to pay off their 'debt' to their employer, Lea escaped the plantation. At 15 years old, alone and with no money, he made his way to Bangkok where a taxi driver told him her could earn good money working on a fishing boat. Lea was locked in a house for 3 days before being taken on to the fishing boat where he would work long hours with little rest for 3 years without pay. Lea was finally able to escape, hiding in a forest after being taken ashore. Lea now works as a labourer on construction sites on and in other jobs on Tuan Island as he waits to go home. 

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Chairat

Benjina Island lies 400 miles to the north of Australia and has been the home of an illegal fishing operation for a number of years. While only one company was registered to use the island, investigations by labour rights organisations has found that the island acted as a port and base for fishing operations across the region. The island functioned as a makeshift prison, with small cages found where trafficked fisherman would be kept if they clashed with their employers or asked too many questions. It was when the Labour Rights Promotion Network joined forced with the Associate Press and Thai TV Channel 3 after hearing stories from survivors who had escaped the island, mounted a search for the island that they found shocking human rights violations.  Chairat was trafficked on to a Thai fishing boat and then found himself imprisoned on Benjina Island where enslaved fisherman were imprisoned, forced to fight and were often killed.   

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Ismail

Men, women and children make up those trafficked in Indonesia, subjected to forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation. Brokers working in rural areas are known to lure men and boys into forced labour on palm oil, rubber and tobacco plantations. This is often done through debt bondage, in which employers claim the enslaved owes them money for costs that were never agreed upon and as such they must pay off these debts before they can regain their freedom. Threatened with violence and death they become trapped and feel unable to escape the long working hours and heavy labour they must endure without pay. Rising unemployment and slowed job creation has pushed people into the informal sector unprotected by labour laws, and thus has made them more vulnerable to exploitation. There are currently only 18 shelters in Indonesia working to rescue and rehabilitate traffic victims. Unable to afford to continue his education and believing that he could earn more money abroad to support his family, Ismail had been working illegally in Malaysia when he was deported to Dumai, Sumatra where he was approached by a man claiming to be an official. From the moment he departed Dumai Ismail began to accumulate debt, he was told he would be working in the logging industry to pay this off. Subjected to heavy labour under the threat of death, it was only when he was transferred to another workplace with a more lenient boss that Ismail was able to escape and reunite with his family. 

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Ika

Men, women and children make up those trafficked in Indonesia, subjected to forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation. Brokers working in rural areas are known to lure men and boys into forced labour on palm oil, rubber and tobacco plantations, while women and under-age girls are lured into work as domestics in private homes and as commercial sex workers. Rising unemployment and slowed job creation has pushed people into the informal sector unprotected by labour laws and thus made them more vulnerable to exploitation. There are currently only 18 shelters in Indonesia working to rescue and rehabilitate traffic victims. Ika dropped out of school at 15 years old and was offered a job in Batam by a new friend. However once she arrived she realised she had been trafficked in to commercial sex work. Ika was subjected to physical beatings by her employer regularly and was ignored by clients when she asked them for help. Eventually, Ika was able to get hold of a phone and message her mother who informed the authorities. A raid was organised and Ika was rescued. 

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Wati

Wati was enslaved in forced domestic labour between 1983 and 2000, where she was beaten and abused. She tried to escape in 1990 and 1992, and escaped successfully in 2000. She told her story to another survivor, Kanthi. Both women were part of the Survivor Advisory Caucus attached to the Coalition Against Slavery and Trafficking in Los Angeles (CAST LA).

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Ros

Ros is an Indonesian woman who was a domestic slave in Indonesia. She became enslaved after being made a false offer of work by a man who then imprisoned her and physically abused her for four years. Her attempts to run away failed more than once because of the complicity of officials and others in her enslavement. Her narrative suggests that the police deliberately hampered their own investigation and refused to take Ros’ situation seriously. The government has taken some positive steps towards protecting domestic workers. Following pressure from local and international organisations, including Walk Free, the Indonesian House of Representatives recommended the Domestic Workers Protection Bill for its list of priority legislation in 2016. Ros was enslaved without leaving Indonesia, but significant numbers of Indonesians are exploited in forced labor and debt bondage abroad in Asia and the Middle East, primarily in domestic service, factories, construction, and manufacturing, on Malaysian palm oil plantations, and on fishing vessels throughout the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

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Rini

Rini is an Indonesian woman who was a domestic slave in Indonesia, where she was confined to the house, verbally and physically abused, and her salary withheld. She was only able to escape from the situation when one of the other workers in the house died of injuries from the abuse. The government has taken some positive steps towards protecting domestic workers. Following pressure from local and international organisations, including Walk Free, the Indonesian House of Representatives recommended the Domestic Workers Protection Bill for its list of priority legislation in 2016. Rini was enslaved without leaving Indonesia, but significant numbers of Indonesians are exploited in forced labor and debt bondage abroad in Asia and the Middle East, primarily in domestic service, factories, construction, and manufacturing, on Malaysian palm oil plantations, and on fishing vessels throughout the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

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Ima (Narrative 1)

At age 16, Ima Matul was forced into an arranged marriage in Indonesia with a man 12 years her senior. After running away, was offered an opportunity to work in the United States as a nanny. But instead she was held in domestic forced labour for three years in Los Angeles. She told her story to another survivor, Flor, in 2009. Both women were part of the Survivor Advisory Caucus attached to the Coalition Against Slavery and Trafficking in Los Angeles (CAST LA). Another narrative by Ima can be found within the archive.

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Ima (Narrative 2)

At age 16, Ima Matul was forced into an arranged marriage in Indonesia with a man 12 years her senior. After running away, was offered an opportunity to work in the United States as a nanny. But instead she was held in domestic forced labour for three years in Los Angeles. She told her story to another survivor, Flor, in 2009. Both women were part of the Survivor Advisory Caucus attached to the Coalition Against Slavery and Trafficking in Los Angeles (CAST LA). Another narrative by Ima can be found within the archive.