The Tradition of Toil

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08 Mar 2021

The Tradition of Toil

The interplay of social norms and stigma in relation to human trafficking in Indonesia Case Study: West Sumba and South-west Sumba

This report explores how social norms and stigma can be drivers of vulnerability to trafficking and barriers to the effective reintegration of survivors in West Sumba and Southwest Sumba, Indonesia. It explores the ways in which social pressures and expectations on individuals to migrate heighten the risk of trafficking and exploitation of individuals, particularly women. It also seeks to build understanding of how the roles played by family members, communities and service providers, due to traditional norms and influences, shape the agency of returnee migrant women and their access to service providers in Indonesia.

  • Glossary of Acronyms and Abbreviations
  • Executive Summary
  • 1. Introduction
    • 1.1. Research Rationale and Focus
    • 1.2. Conceptual Framework
      • 1.2.1. Social norms
      • 1.2.2. Stigma
      • 1.2.3. Reintegration
      • 1.2.4. An overview of how social norms and stigma impact trafficking victims
  • 2. Research Methodology and Tools
    • 2.1. Research methodology
    • 2.2. Fieldwork Location Sites
    • 2.3. Ethical Considerations
    • 2.4. Limitations
  • 3. Overview of Indonesia
    • 3.1. Country Context
    • 3.2. Labour migration for poverty alleviation
    • 3.3. Unsafe migration and trafficking in Indonesia
    • 3.4. State responsibility for the reintegration of trafficked persons
    • 3.5. Indonesian legislation on protecting victims of trafficking
  • 4. Research findings
    • 4.1. The narrative of migration as "positive" and "aspirational" remains unchallenged
      • 4.1.1 Low economic prospects push labour migration
      • 4.1.2 Recruitment of women migrants promoted as a poverty alleviation strategy
      • 4.1.3 A continuing cycle of migrants
  • 4.2. Gender-based social norms are critical to understanding migration choices and outcomes
    • 4.2.1. The value of women’s work
    • 4.2.2. Expectations of women related to family debt and marriage
    • 4.2.3. Systemic disempowerment of women
    • 4.2.4. Women’s place is limited to the domestic sphere
    • 4.2.5. Community efforts to respond to traditional gendered norms
    • 4.2.6. Labour intermediaries are heroes and warriors
    • 4.2.7. Submissive behaviour as a strategy for positive migration experiences
    • 4.2.8. Gendered impact of barriers to safe migration
    • 4.2.9. Paternalistic views that deem women as too weak to migrate
  • 4.3. Weaknesses in governance structures limit the responses to support migrants
    • 4.3.1. The lack of formal identity documents is prevalent
    • 4.3.2. How a lack of formal identity enables unsafe migration and trafficking outcomes
    • 4.3.3. Limited interventions for returnee migrants in Sumba
    • 4.3.4. Capacity constraints of government departments responding to trafficking in persons
  • 4.4. Social stigmatization impacts returnee migrants’ experiences and their disconnect from support services
    • 4.4.1. The meaning of "successful migration" is relative
    • 4.4.2. Normalization of violence in migration experience
    • 4.4.3. Stigmatization of returnee migrants
    • 4.4.4. The short-lived nature of stigmatization
  • 5. Conclusion
    • 5.1. Labour migration is a common strategy for poverty alleviation
    • 5.2. Prevention of trafficking requires attention to social and cultural enablers
    • 5.3. Understanding the influence and capacity of governance structures is a key in responding to trafficking
    • 5.4. Engaging returnee migrants must be an integral part of responding to trafficking and exploitation
  • Annexes
    • Annex I – Glossary of Key Terms
    • Annex II – Literature Review Bibliography
    • Annex III – List of Stakeholders
    • Annex IV – Consent Form