Mon, 22 Aug 1994

Inten Suweno supports raid on prostitutes

JAKARTA (JP): Minister of Social Services Inten Suweno has thrown her weight behind city police's ongoing anti-prostitution campaign.

The minister was quoted by Antara late last week as saying that she supported the operations, but at the same time concerted efforts should be done to rehabilitate prostitutes so that they will not resume their profession when they return to the community.

The Ministry of Social Services has trained at least 1,000 prostitutes with several skills, such as sewing, cooking and handicraft making, to enable them to make a decent life but the results of the training is still far from expected because only 30 percent have left the profession.

"Even the 30 percent do not leave the profession permanently," said the minister, adding that some resumed their profession when they had financial problems.

According to the minister, prostitutes will permanently leave their professions only at the age 40 because at that time they are not as attractive to their clients anymore.

Declaring a war against prostitution, police last month arrested Hartono Setyawan, 42, a notorious pimp who hired high- class call-girls, and raided brothels at the Kramat Tunggak red- light district in North Jakarta and several massage parlors believed to have been operating as covert brothels.

Hundreds of prostitutes and their customers were netted during the operation bringing the sex-business in the city to a crawl, but into prosperity in several of Jakarta's buffer zone areas, including in Puncak.

With 7,772 prostitutes, Jakarta ranks second to East Java as far as the number of prostitutes is concerned.

According to statistics at the Ministry of Social Services there are 65,056 prostitutes in the country. (yns)