Sexual predators are using social media to lure in potential victims in Indonesia as more citizens from one of the world’s largest Muslim-majority country join the ever-growing online community.
Facebook has appealed to younger generations and many has jumped in the bandwagon without seeing the repercussions.
AP reports that out of 129 children reported missing to Indonesia’s National Commission for Child Protection, 27 incidents are believed to be Facebook-related – children, especially young girls, are kidnapped by “friends” they have met on Facebook and are sexually exploited.
A report from EPCAT International, a non-government organisation working to eliminate child trafficking, estimates that 40,000 to 70,000 children each year are forced into prostitution or the pornography industry in Indonesia, underlining the dangers of social media.
The recent reported case was of a 14-year old girl who was abducted by a “charming” man after accepting his “friend request” on the social site. In an interview with AP, the young girl recounted how the man wooed her with flattery until he brought her to a house in the town of Bogor, West Java, and locked her in a room with at least five other girls. She was repeatedly raped and was told she was being sold to a brothel in Batam, before managing to escape. The girl was later found in a bus stop by authorities.
“It’s been getting worse as trafficking rings become more sophisticated and underage children are more easily targeted,” Detective Lt. Ruth Yeni Qomariah from the Children and Women’s Protection Unit told AP.