To read this full report, written in Indonesian on the VICE website, click here.
The reality in NTT (East Nusa Tenggara) is often bittersweet. The sight of coffins arriving in airport cargo, which unfortunately happens all too often, is an illustration of how the hope of fighting for a better life comes at a price. Airport cargo immediately became a witness to the realm of loss, endless troubles, endless crying, and thousands of questions summed up in terms that sounded terrible: human trafficking.
In 2021 alone, 83 NTT residents returned home in coffins because they were trapped by illegal migrant workers. The prolonged drought at NTT, due to the climate crisis, has forced many people to risk their fate.
Even though every NTT community has the opportunity to be involved in human trafficking, especially those living on the poverty line, women are the most vulnerable. This, for one, cannot be separated from the existing culture. In some areas, such as Kabupaten Sumba Timur, many women are forced to work away from home because their husbands have to pay the marriage dowry, which usually takes the form of buffaloes or cows.
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