IOM Assists Return of Indonesian Trafficking Victims


IOM has begun to help return dozens of
female trafficking victims who sought refuge in the nation's
consulate in Penang, Malaysia and who want to go home.

A first group of 15 female trafficking
victims, including a 15-year-old girl, accompanied by members of
IOM's counter-trafficking unit arrived in the Indonesian capital,
Jakarta, on Thursday afternoon.

Last week, an IOM assessment completed in
cooperation with Indonesian consular officials in Penang revealed
that 47 women who had been working as domestic helpers in Malaysia
are victims of trafficking under current internationally regarded

IOM has also begun assessing the cases of a
further 20 Indonesian women who arrived at the consulate in the
past few days.

"They are very traumatized by their
experiences and want to return home as soon as possible," said IOM
counter-trafficking unit programme officer, Fitriana Nur.

Upon their return, the women will receive
comprehensive medical and psychological care at the IOM-supported
recovery centre for victims of trafficking located in the
Indonesian National Police Hospital in Jakarta.

Some of the women, who come from communities
across Indonesia, have been living in the consulate for many months
awaiting their travel documents.

Trafficking victims are exploited by
unscrupulous labour agents and frequently subjected to physical,
psychological and sexual abuse by their employers. They are
particularly vulnerable when they enter countries illegally in
search of employment, use forged papers or are forced to handover
their legitimate travel documents.

Indonesian and Malaysian authorities are
processing temporary passports and visas to allow the women at the
consulate to leave the country. Meanwhile, an IOM psychologist
remains on call to provide continuing support and counselling
services to the women.

The live-in recovery centre, which can handle
up to 30 cases at a time, is a key component of IOM's Return,
Recovery and Reintegration programme for trafficking victims.

Since opening in June 2005, the centre has
provided a safe haven and counselling services to roughly 700
victims of trafficking, a quarter of whom are under the age of 17.
Upon leaving the centre, IOM provides the women with transportation
to their homes around the country and a reintegration package that
includes education programmes and start-up support for small

For further information, please contact:

Paul Dillon

IOM Banda Aceh

Mob: +62-812-698-8035

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