Jakarta (ANTARA) - Vice President Ma'ruf Amin called for action regarding the suspected human trafficking scheme disguised as internship programs affecting Indonesian students in Germany.

"We should enhance monitoring and take action against all perpetrators to prevent this case from recurring," he said after opening the Banten Halal Festival in Tangerang, Banten, on Tuesday.

According to a statement from his office, Amin expressed concern over the human trafficking and exploitation cases.

"We are concerned by this case because it tarnishes the Indonesian nation," he remarked.

He noted that Indonesian students affected by the scheme were forced to work outside the scope of their studies.

He also expressed his support for Coordinating Minister of Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Hadi Tjahjanto's task force proposal to investigate the case.

Apart from investigating the case, the task force is also expected to ensure universities are not exploiting and abusing their students, including through bogus internships, he said.

"I agree with what the coordinating minister is setting up, which is a task force to investigate the case. I agree we should resolve this issue and ensure universities will not exploit their students," Amin stated.

Earlier, thousands of overseas Indonesian students were suspected of being affected by human trafficking crimes while attending the Ferienjob internship scheme in Germany.

The case first came to light after some students complained to the Indonesian Embassy in Berlin about having endured exploitation during their internship.

The students claimed that they were required to pay excessive fees to join the program, which includes 150 euros for a campus acceptance letter, 200 euros for a work permit, and Rp30–50 million (US$1,889–3,148) for other expenses.

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Translator: Benardy F, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Anton Santoso
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