Mon, 16 Jun 2003

Govt urged to help RI sex workers

MEDAN, North Sumatra: About 1,500 young Indonesian women are now trapped in the sex business in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a report said.

"The women are in dire need of government help to free them from commercial sex syndicates in Arab countries," said Maya Manurung, a spokesperson for a non-governmental organization on women's issues.

The level of trade in women in a number of cities in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Middle East had reached serious levels, said Posman Tobing, chairman of House of Representatives Commission VII on health and population issues.

Maya said that the government, through its embassy in the UAE, ought to take the initiative to eradicate all types of immoral businesses.

Most of the women involved in commercial sex activity had been deceived with promises of well-paid work in factories or as house maids. In reality, they became trapped in the sex business.

She said the government should intensify its supervision of the operations of Indonesian labor recruitment agencies before they sent workers abroad. --JP