Cardno-managed project working on inter-agency cooperation to address human trafficking in Indonesia


​Throughout 2016, the Australia Indonesia Partnership for Justice 2 (AIPJ2), a joint initiative between the Australian and Indonesian Governments and implemented by Cardno, supported research aimed at strengthening the role of judicial and legal institutions in handling trafficking cases in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Following the completion of the research, AIPJ2 organised an event in Makassar in September 2017 to discuss the findings and plan steps to improve the handling of such cases in South Sulawesi through enhanced inter-agency coordination.

The event was opened by the Australian Vice Consul-General in Makassar, Ms Violet Rish, and the Head of the Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection Office in the province, Andi Murlina. Representatives of the police, civil society and advocacy organisations also participated in the discussion.

As cited in the study, trafficking is often referred to as the tip of the iceberg in Indonesia. The number of crimes is undeniably greater than the cases that are brought to prosecution. Despite this, efforts to tackle trafficking have seemingly been stagnant in recent years. “Now that the Law on Elimination of Human Trafficking Crimes (Law no. 21/2007) is in place, the need to improve coordination with the police, supreme court, policy makers and non-government organisations is more pressing,” said Andi Murlina in her opening.

South Sulawesi was among the first provinces to respond to the enactment of Law no. 21/2007. In the same year, South Sulawesi issued Regional Regulation no. 9 regarding Prevention and Eradication of Trafficking of Women and Children. The province has since established a Task Force network for handling trafficking cases. However, this provincial- and district-based Task Force needs improved coordination and control mechanisms at the community level.

During the event in Makassar, participants also highlighted the importance of acknowledging cultural factors to help prevent human trafficking in the future. For example, the tradition of massompe in Bugis and Makassar, where men and women leave home to find better jobs and incomes, leaves people without their local support networks and makes them more vulnerable to human trafficking traps. In many cases the offenders are also people the victims know and to some extent put trust in as patrons, and may be neighbours or fellow travellers who have improved their socio-economic status.

“The social safety net from such patrons is no longer functioning. The state needs to play a bigger role in preventing human trafficking and not rely only on the regional offices to take action,” said Lies Marcoes, one of the researchers.

AIPJ2 is a five-year AU$37 million program which aims to provide strong and accessible justice and security institutions that enhance respect for enforceable rights and rules-based governance systems, contributing to stability in the region. Cardno provides all program management services; planning; budgeting; monitoring and evaluation activities; capacity building for civil society organisations; and reporting.

For more information about AIPJ2, please visit the project page or contact Kerri Amos, AIPJ2 Contractor Representative.

Kerri Amos
+6221 8086 9802