101 East looks at the complex issues surrounding the country’s street children.
As Indonesia forges ahead on its path to becoming an Asian economic powerhouse, many of its citizens are being left behind. Among them are hundreds of thousands of children who live and work on the streets.
Indonesia has 300,000 registered street children but many are being abused and exploited, even killed. Everyday, they face violence, sexual abuse, exploitation and social discrimination.
In January, Jakarta police found the decapitated and mutilated body of a nine-year-old street child.
The news caused national outrage, especially after the killer, known as Babeh, or Father, confessed to at least 14 other rapes and murders, all of boys who lived and worked on the streets of Jakarta.
Indonesia’s government says it aims to clear Jakarta’s streets of homeless children by 2011 and nationwide in the next five years. But critics doubt these goals are achievable.
On this edition of 101 East, we look at the complex issues surrounding Indonesia’s street children and ask: who is protecting Indonesia’s children?
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