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 Kalijodo girls move to nearby red-light districts

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BerichtOnderwerp: Kalijodo girls move to nearby red-light districts   di 1 maa 2016 - 3:54




The Jakarta Post, March 1 2016


Jakarta’s oldest red-light district Kalijodo was deserted days before its scheduled eviction on Monday and neighboring areas have spotted many of its former inhabitants in their red-light districts, while where many others have gone is not yet known.

Some are reported to have returned to their hometowns.

Tangerang regency administration in Banten has found out that some sex workers have moved to Dadap red-light district in Kosambi subdistrict, Tangerang.

Kosambi subdistrict head Bambang Misbahudin said Friday the administration had intercepted 20 sex workers arriving from Kalijodo since the capital’s red-light district was vacated on Thursday. He said the 20 girls were immediately sent to their hometowns.

“We expected the influx of prostitutes from Kalijodo. Therefore, we have combed all bars and cafes in Dadap,” he said.

Bogor administration in West Java has also reportedly braced for an influx of sex workers but there have been no reports of such so far.

Meanwhile, Jakarta Social Affairs Agency head Masrokhan said that the sex workers had not moved to any other red-light districts in Jakarta.

“No, they have not [moved to nearby red-light districts in Jakarta]. We have combed areas considered hotbeds [for prostitution] but we have not found any of them,” he told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

He said, however, that while some of the sex workers had returned to their respective hometowns, others had remained in the capital.

“They just do not dare to come out. We are looking for them as well,” he said. He did not say how many had returned home.

“Local authorities have informed us that some of them returned to their hometowns after the administration’s first eviction notice last Thursday.”

According to local data from Kalijodo, of 1,405 people with jobs connected with the area’s nightlife, 450 were sex workers. The remainder worked as security guards, parking wardens, cleaners, etc.

There 3,052 residents in Kalijodo, located in Pejagalan on the border of North and West Jakarta. Pejagalan village head Maskur said none of the sex workers were local residents but rather came from various areas around the country, such as Bogor and Bandung in West Java, Semarang in Central Java and parts of Lampung.

Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama has often said that buildings in Kalijodo were illegal because they were built on state land. Some locals begged to differ but the eviction plan went ahead on Monday with the city administration sending a joint force of 6,175 personnel to the already largely deserted place.

The administration has pledged to relocate affected residents to two low-cost rental apartments located in Marundain North Jakarta and Pulo Gebang in East Jakarta. The requirements for claiming such apartments are having a Jakarta ID card and having had a permanent house in Kalijodo.

This means that Kalijodo sex workers will not be able to claim apartments as they were not, according to Maskur, local residents and did not have permanent homes in the area.

The administration has pledged to take care of the sex workers, by either helping them change profession or returning them home, to prevent them from working in the sex industry in other parts of the city.

Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansah said recently that the government would provide training to sex workers who wanted to change professions. She said each of them would undergo six months of training before being given Rp 5 million (US$373) to start a business.

But, the ministry’s program seems to interest only few workers, Masrokhan said.

Masrokhan said that although the Jakarta Social Affairs Agency had opened the program last week, no-one had come to register so far.


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