"In 2013, Indonesian citizens were involved in 188 cases of human trafficking. In 2014, that number rose to 326 cases and then to 548 cases in 2015," Retno LP Marsudi remarked here during an event to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Prevention and Handling of Human Trafficking, on Tuesday.
Therefore, there is need to strengthen cooperation among agencies and institutions to prevent and combat human trafficking, and to protect the victims.
The memorandum was signed by representatives of seven ministries or agencies.
These are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Womens Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry, the Justice and Human Rights Ministry, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the National Police, the Attorney Generals Office, and the Agency for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (BNP2TKI).
"The MoU is very important form of cooperation. It also shows the governments commitment to combat human trafficking," the minister said.
"The Memorandum of Understanding was intended to establish a mechanism of national reference for handling victims. As a result, the victims concerns can be addressed optimally," the minister remarked.
The MoU includes various areas in which the involved ministries and other stakeholders can cooperate, including joint identification, treatment of victims, preventive steps, exchange of data and improvement of human resource capacity.
All seven ministries/institutions agreed to enhance their cooperation and coordination as part of the efforts to combat crimes related to human trafficking in which Indonesian citizens are involved.
"Indonesian foreign policy accords priority to protecting Indonesian citizens," the minister affirmed.