Serpent's Egg

The Eroticism of Fat Men

Indonesia demolishes capital’s largest red-light district

Bulldozers move in to destroy dozens of homes and brothels in Jakarta’s Kalijodo neighbourhood, which will be turned into a park

Civil service police unit members stand as bulldozers demolish buildings at Kalijodo red-light district in Jakarta. Photograph: BEAWIHARTA/Reuters

Bulldozers have started demolishing hundreds of buildings in the Indonesian capital’s largest red-light district as part of a nationwide effort to eradicate prostitution in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation.

Jakarta’s Kalijodo, long home to thousands of sex workers, is the latest of nearly 70 red-light districts shut down in Indonesia. The government wants to close the remaining around 100 more by 2019.

Prostitution is illegal in Indonesia but rampant in most major cities.

Under high security, bulldozers were seen destroying dozens of homes and sex-oriented businesses in the Jakarta neighbourhood, which the governor wants to turn into a park.

Anas Effendi, West Jakarta’s mayor, said: “First, we need to demolish all houses and revert the land to be used for a green open space, which has been the main function of the area since the very beginning. Once it is all completed, we will rebuild the area immediately.”

An accident by a drunk motorist that killed four in Kalijodo earlier this month prompted Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama to order the closing of the neighbourhood.

Authorities gave Kalijodo’s 3,000 residents a week to clear the area with some relocated to government-subsidised apartments. Evicted sex workers were also given vocational training.

Some of those relocated, however, were finding it difficult to find employment.

A city security officer stands guard as a backhoe demolishes buildings in the Kalijodo shantytown.
A city security officer stands guard as a backhoe demolishes buildings in the Kalijodo shantytown. Photograph: Dita Alangkara/AP

“My husband is still jobless as he already stopped his business,” said Kania Fauziah, whose husband was a caretaker at a Kalijodo entertainment business.


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This entry was posted on February 29, 2016 by and tagged , , , .

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