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Human Trafficking in Bali

Human Trafficking in Bali

Yes human trafficking in Bali does happen. Watching the movie Human Trafficking some years ago, I realised how simple, if someone had the motivation and necessary lack of human feeling and empathy required to do it, it is to literally steal someone’s life.

Do you have something to add to this article about human trafficking in Bali? Some experience or observation to share? Leave a comment at the bottom of this page.

It is quite simple to lure a woman to another country, offer her all kinds of opportunities which makes it especially hard for struggling Asian women to resist, and then once there it is all over, especially if she has children back home whose lives the trafficker can use as leverage.

I have a friend who was 21 when, as a member of a Christian group from Jakarta, she and 20 co-members flew to Singapore for some church event. Just as they went through customs the police appeared and arrested them all, piling them and their luggage into a waiting bus.

It turned out that they had busted a human trafficking organisation which had lured these girls to Singapore, from where they would disappear, never to be seen again.

They were questioned and then put on a flight back to Jakarta, all aware of how close they had come to the abyss, and shocked at how such an innocuous thing as a church event could be so dangerous.

Another woman I met in Bali last year is a bit different. In her late 30s, single mum, sexy body, 2 teenage kids, good job, intelligent, she told me one night that she had fallen in love with a Russian man, and he had invited her to go to Russia with him. As the story unfolded it started smelling very bad.

They knew each other for two weeks, but according to her they were both in love with each other. When I told her my concerns, that she risked not only disappearing into the absolutely awful world of sex slavery, but never seeing her kids again, she initially laughed it off, saying she was too old.

When I told her that she was in perfect demographic for such sex slavery, with kids she can be controlled through, and anyway sex slaves really only have life expectancy of a few years before their use-by-date expires, she started taking me seriously, and with my parting words,

Do not get on that plane,’ ringing in her ears, she went home and decided to cancel her travel plans, making up some reasonable excuse.

She told me later that her boyfriend was very angry, unreasonably so, and since then has had sporadic contact where he again invites her to visit, each time declaring his love for her.

She still not believe that the guy was not honestly in love with her as he had said, but somehow I had convinced her that the possible downside of a trip to Moscow was simply too awful to contemplate.

So while not not super grateful, as he felt like she had missed a huge opportunity, she still appreciated that I had cared enough to warn her. I do not know if I was right, but when the downside is so vast, it is better sometimes to be safe.

I believe that this kind of thing is quite common in Bali.

Girls coming from Java, often single mothers with not many prospects outside of the sex business or marriage to a bule, no friends to solicit advice from, and also innocent and naive enough to believe the wealthy bule falling in love with her and wanting to take her home to introduce her to his parents.

If my friend who is intelligent and street smart can fall for this, how is someone who is desperate going to be able to resist the lure of money and escape from a life of drudgery and become a victim of human trafficking in Bali?

If you are friendly with single local women, warn them and tell them to warn their friends, about the possibility of them simply disappearing once they get off a plane in Moscow, never to be heard from again. Let them know that life can get a lot worse very fast.

By Mark O’Brien 2013

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