SEX WORKERS UNIONIZE IN JOGJA

Remko Tanis • 29 October 2018

Image Monday 22 October 2018 at 09.22.jpg

South China Morning Post in Hong Kong published a feature on a sex worker union in the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta. It’s written by Amanda Siddharta. I was an editor on this piece.

Amanda went to Bong Suwong, a prostitution zone right behind Yogya’s biggest train station. She speaks with women who used to and who still work there.

She highlights the efforts of P3SY, an organization run by the women themselves. P3SY informs sex workers on the risks of STDs, and how to prevent them.

P3SY also helps women working in the city’s prostitution zones to get health checks and helps those who suffer abuse. It lobbies with authorities to regard prostitution as work and to provide sex workers with rights and protection.

Indonesia has been getting more conservative. As the article points out, the Indonesian Ministry of Social Affairs wants to eradicate all red light zones in the country by 2019. As of last spring, 154 have already been shut down.

The main train station in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. (C) Remko Tanis

Yogyakarta, on South Central Java, in particular is more conservative than the capital Jakarta and the holiday island of Bali.

Read Amanda’s SCMP feature here.

Some previous SCMP features I edited:

Shame in the Line of Duty, 18 August 2018

Behind Closed Doors, 30 July 2018

ADHD helped these Asian entrepreneurs, 23 May 2018