Jakarta (ANTARA) - Local authorities in villages have a role in preventing human trafficking, according to the Indonesian Migrant Workers' Protection Agency (BP2MI).

"Village heads and officials have the role of protecting their residents from suspicious individuals who offer them work overseas at no charge at all," BP2MI chief secretary Rinardi said at a press conference here on Thursday.

Law No. 18 of 2017 on the Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers stipulates that local authorities at the village level are responsible for protecting migrant workers, he highlighted.

This means the village authorities should play their role in enlightening and informing residents about legal ways to find work overseas, he stressed.

"We urge Indonesian residents who are keen to work overseas to observe work procedures according to the law and seek only legal ways available, as stipulated by Law No. 18 of 2017," Rinardi said.

Human trafficking syndicates often lure victims with high-paying job offers, he added. The victims often leave the country illegally, without a valid working visa, he continued.

"(The syndicates) even give extra money to the family as their member departs to work overseas. The amount is in the range of Rp5 million–15 million (US$335–1,005), and because of economic pressure, the family will not reject it," he informed.

Rinardi said that human trafficking victims are often employed in menial work in homes, farms, or factories overseas without a definite job contract or fixed schedule and are "traded" from one employer to another.

"Hence, we hope that syndicates involved in the human trafficking network that affects Indonesian migrant workers face justice and receive hefty sentences," the agency official added.

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Translator: Zubi Mahrofi, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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