Selasa, 11 Zulqaidah 1439 / 24 Juli 2018

Selasa, 11 Zulqaidah 1439 / 24 Juli 2018

Indonesia committed to cracking down on crimes at sea: Minister

Selasa 24 Januari 2017 20:28 WIB

Red: Reiny Dwinanda

Maritime Affairs and Fishery Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said her ministry has issued Ministerial Decree No. 2 of 2017 on human rights abuse in the fishery sector.

Maritime Affairs and Fishery Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said her ministry has issued Ministerial Decree No. 2 of 2017 on human rights abuse in the fishery sector.

Foto: Republika/Rakhmawaty La'lang

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- The government has continued to crack down on crimes committed at sea in addition to its operation to fight illegal fishing, Maritime Affairs and Fishery Minister Susi Pudjiastuti stated. "Indonesia is serious in addressing all crimes committed at sea," Pudjiastuti noted at the unveiling of a report on human trafficking and crimes in Indonesia's fishery sector, here on Tuesday.

The minister remarked that Indonesia had adopted legal measures against human rights violation in Benjina, Maluku, in 2015. With its mission to guard the Indonesian waters, the ministry has begun evaluating ex-foreign vessels, which had led to the imposition of a one-year moratorium on all licensed fishing vessels built outside Indonesia during the period between November 2014 and October 2015 and the ban on transshipment.

Pudjiastuti pointed out that the ministry had continued to search for some 250,000 Indonesian crews who had reportedly received inhumane treatment, including restriction to get off the ship, limited food, excessive work hours, and low wages. "What happened in Benjina has opened our eyes. We hope that what we did in Benjina would be applied in other cases. We are still looking for 250,000 Indonesian crews working on foreign vessels," she remarked.

The ministry has issued Ministerial Decree No. 2 of 2017 on human rights abuse in the fishery sector. Meanwhile, Australian Deputy Ambassador Justin Lee stated that the complexity of problems related to human trafficking and forced labor have proven that tackling transnational crimes would require international cooperation.

Head of the International Organization on Migration (IOM) in Indonesia Mark Getchell noted that the agency had lauded the Indonesian government's efforts to tackle various human trafficking and forced labor issues. Getchell has encouraged closer cooperation with industry leaders to ensure that the workers' rights are fulfilled, and Indonesia would be able to reap the benefits of sustainable maritime resources.

The report, jointly prepared by the IOM Indonesia, the ministry's Task Force-115, University of Indonesia, and Coventry University, was based on the testimonies of the victims of human trafficking on ships. It covers systematic fraud and organized recruitment and exploitation of crews from Southeast Asian countries, including the testimonies of eye witnesses on incidents of violence and murder at sea and illegal dumping of dead bodies.

The report also disclosed cases of labor exploitation in which the victims were forced to work for more than 20 hours a day and other violations of law, such as switching off the ship's transmitter, using illegal equipment, conducting illegal transshipment, and falsifying documents and logbooks. It also highlighted overlapping regulations, which had led to ambiguity on the responsibility of government institutions regarding recruitment monitoring, working conditions, fishery firms, recruitment agency, and the ships.

In March 2015, the IOM had identified and provided relief to thousands of foreign ship crews who were the victims of human trafficking crimes. The crews were released from the ship, which was anchored at a port in eastern Indonesia, following the government's decision to impose a one-year moratorium on all licensed, ex-foreign fishing vessels. 

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