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Indonesia: Protocol to Convention on Organized Crime Approved

(Feb. 24, 2009) On February 3, 2009, Indonesia's House of Representatives ratified a Protocol to the U.N. Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, which became effective on December 25, 2003. The Convention itself was ratified by Indonesia last December. (Febriamy Hutapea, House Targets Human Trade, JAKARTA GLOBE, Feb. 4, 2009, available at

Commenting on the ratification of the protocol on human trafficking, Indonesia's Justice and Human Rights Minister, Andi Mattalatta, said

Ratification of this protocol will protect women and children from the crime of trafficking and will improve Indonesia's image in the global community. … [A] campaign is needed to raise awareness within our legal structure that we have to change our approach to tackling crime – this means transnational crime, including human trafficking. (Id.)

Indonesia has an extensive problem of human trafficking, with some groups estimating more than 100,000 women and children trafficked for sexual exploitation each year. One legislator referred to the existence of several laws related to the problem but went on to state, “[t]he problem is related to the weakness of Indonesian law enforcement.” (Id.)