In 2022, the Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok recorded that the number of trafficking in persons (TIP) cases involving Indonesian citizens has increased significantly in Bangkok. Currently, the e,bassy recorded 92 cases ongoing in total.
“The Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok also recorded data that the majority of Indonesian TIP victims came from West Kalimantan. This province is considered to be one of the exit points for those who will depart for destination countries,” said the Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok in a written statement at Kemlu.go.id on Tuesday, March 21, 2023.
A webinar to educate the public
To address the prevalence of trafficking in persons (TIP) disguised as online scam operations in Southeast Asia, the Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok organized an “Ambassador Greeting” event on March 18, 2023.
The event specifically focused on the theme “Prevention and Management of TIP Cases Involving Indonesian Victims on the Thai Border” and was conducted in the form of an online seminar (webinar).
During the webinar, the organizers provided an explanation of the measures being taken to prevent trafficking in persons (TIP) in West Kalimantan.
In the meeting, ambassadors also discussed the characteristics and methods used by TIP perpetrators in West Kalimantan, as well as the procedures involved in assisting Indonesian citizens who were identified as TIP victims in online scamming activities along the Thai border, as quoted from Elshinta.com.
The webinar featured presentations by several individuals, including the Director for the Protection of Indonesian Citizens at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia Judha Nugraha.
Other speakers included the Coordinator of the Protocol and Consular Functions at the Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok Dewi Lestari, Kombes Pol. Endon Nurcahyo, an Attaché of the embassy, and a lecturer of Tanjungpura University in Pontianak Elyta.
More important notes
There were several noteworthy points that were discussed during the Q&A session such as testimony from a family.
During the session, a family member of a victim of online scamming had the opportunity to provide testimony about their sister’s case, which is currently being investigated by authorities in Thailand.
The inclusion of personal testimonies like this helps to create a more concrete understanding of TIP cases for the public, rather than just presenting statistics and data.
“The Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok stated that it would continue to bridge and provide maximum assistance for Indonesian victims of TIP,” the Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok stated in a written statement at Kemlu.go.id.
Prevention efforts from several institutes
Some of the efforts or roles of the following institutes to prevent an increase in TIP cases, namely:
- According to the West Kalimantan Provincial Government Manpower Service, they are preparing to monitor any developments related to TIP cases in West Kalimantan and nearby regions in collaboration with the Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok.
- It was noted that universities also have a responsibility to educate and raise awareness among the public about preventing TIP and how to safely work abroad.
Prevention efforts on a national level
Not only from institutions but efforts to prevent an increase in the number of TIP cases must also be carried out on a national scale, including:
- Ongoing coordination between ministries and institutions to identify social media accounts used for promoting online scams;
- Providing the victim’s passport information to the immigration authorities;
- Carrying efforts on law enforcement; and
- Improving the early warning system at both regional and central levels.
Indonesians should be more careful
Ambassador Rachmat emphasized the importance of awareness and vigilance of Indonesian citizens in verifying job offers through social media or websites to avoid falling prey to human trafficking syndicates.
Furthermore, it was emphasized that there needs to be further coordination and cooperation among all parties, both upstream and downstream, to comprehensively address this issue.