“Since my mom died, I’ve lived with my aunt, my dad’s sister. My dad, he rarely visit us. I have to work to survive. I never went to school. At first, I worked at a canteen in a ferry that serves the route Bali-Lombok. One day, a man from my village offered me a job at a canteen in Sumbawa. I felt doubt actually, but then I took the job. I was so surprised about the job. He said I would work at a canteen, but it was a pub! At the pub, I insisted to work to play the music, because one night, a man tried to kiss me! Since that, I don’t want to serve the guests! Actually, I want to go home (in Lombok), but I don’t have enough money. One night, when there was an operation (because the café is illegal), I hid and found by a police man. Then, they took me to Lombok, to the social bureau shelter.”

(This story was told by the survivor of trafficking; When the interview was made in 2008, she was 17 years old; Lombok and Sumbawa are two different islands, which are located in West Nusa Tenggara Province)

“When I was 15, a woman came to my house and met my parents. She told my parents how good it is to work abroad. I know that a lot of my friends at my age, they work abroad, and I do want to work abroad! I’m bored with school. At first, my parents were not allowed me, but because this woman kept insisting, they then allowed me to. And my mom thought this woman was nice and polite, so she thought I’d be fine with this woman. Besides, my elder sister, she works in Riyadh and she’s okay, and she can support our family. So then I left and was brought to a place where I’d never been before. They said it was a transit place before we went to Malaysia. There, I lived in a house with couple of women. One day, I accidentally heard a conversation between my boss and someone on the mobile phone. My boss said, “There is new comer!” I didn’t know what it meant, so I asked my friend. She said, “You’re stupid!”. She then she explained that we’d be sold! I was so shocked! So then, me and my friends, we made plan to run away.”

(This story was told by the survivor of trafficking; She and her friends were rescued by local people, then brought home with the assistance of local NGOs in Tanjung Pinang (an area located in Riau Isles Province), Sumbawa and IOM)

“During the conflict in Timor Leste, she and her family fled to Atambua. They stayed there. In April 2007, a man who admits as a shop owner in Surabaya offered her a job to work at his shop. She believed it because this man said that he was friend of this priest, that nun. So, she left. And never came back. She’s just gone without news. The man also never showed up again. It is believed he used the same modus to recruit 14 kids (boys and girls) in the village.”

(The story was told by a staff of local NGO ; Atambua is located in East Nusa Tenggara, which is now cross-border with Timor Leste; Surabaya is the capital city of East Java province; Surabaya is one of the biggest receiving and transit area for trafficking in Indonesia; Surabaya has the biggest prostitute area in South-East Asia, called Dolly).

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I wonder why some people would decide to destroy other people's children's lives.

I hope measures are been taken to ensure that those bad people are dealt with. Thanks for bringing this up!


Hi Dando,

In my country, we've already had anti-trafficking law. Sometimes it's implemented, sometimes it's not. It really depends on the law enforcers. Once I met a police officer whose duty on small island, he understand the law well. He was succeed to put a trafficker in court. But most of all, he felt very succeed when he rescued the girl! He said, he has a daughter. And, the girl was at his daughter's age.

BTW, I also met a police woman who was undercover as a prostitute. She told me how miserable it was to see women lived in small-dark room. And, at that time, she did want to punch the trafficker's face, but she might fail the operation. So, she said, with anger in heart, she had to remain cool. After all, it became her own blessed when the operation was succeed. They rescued the women, and put traffickers in jail.

That's the success story. The sad one... yes, of course very sad!


Once I watched how Indian girls are being trafficked from villages to New Delhi,even with the assistance of the uniform men. I cried like a child, many of the trafficked girls have no choice there, their parents most of the time are in full support of their being taken to the cities for a "work", they receive large sum of money for girls that can bare read and write, is that not eating thorn with our pounded yam? hmmmn...

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale Founder/Project Coordinator Star of Hope Transformation Centre 512 Road F Close Festac Town Lagos-Nigeria https:

Hi Olutosin:

It is usual for traffickers to use or make used the authority people such as village leader, religion leader, government officials, teachers, etc. Or, by acting as if they were good persons. By doing that, they always succeed to recruit people!

The girl from Sumbawa (that is offered to work in Malaysia) from my story, the woman that came to her house is someone using veil (hijab/jilbab). I think you know that using veil can be the expression of modesty in Muslim. That's why her mother believed in the woman.

So miserable, right?