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ECPAT International, 2006.
As unskilled women and girls migrate from Indonesia’s rural areas to seek a better life in the big cities, they face a labour market that offers very limited opportunities for women. In many cases they are too embarrassed to return home after ‘failing’ to succeed in the big cities and towns, and resort to prostitution to survive. Many girls are also persuaded to become prostitutes after seeing their friends earn quick money and become ‘financially independent’.
In some parts of Indonesia, such as East Java, family circles of prostitution exist in various forms, including cases where the child victims come from families in which their grandmothers, mothers, aunts or elder sisters work or have worked in the sex industry. In addition to such familiarity with the world of prostitution, the parents’ economic dependence on the children perpetuates their exploitation. Communities lack awareness of child abuse issues and are often reluctant to intrude into the ‘privacy’ of family life, since children are seen as subordinate wards of parents, teachers and older siblings. Such public perceptions lead to cases of sexual exploitation of children being unreported and unprosecuted.
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