TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Maritime Affairs Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said that ASEAN has contributed 20.7 percent of the world’s total fish catch. But she also underlines that ASEAN is prone to crimes, such as human trafficking.

“Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery,” said Susi on a workshop on ‘Human Trafficking and Forced Labor in Fishing Industry’ held in Jakarta, August 15-16, 2016. The event is also attended by the Australian ambassador for Indonesia, International Organization for Migration representative, Illegal Fishing Eradication Task Force 115, and Indonesian National Police.

Susi added that there are a lot of foreign vessels hiring Indonesian citizens. “It is a (common practice) in the forced labor sector,” she said. “We have a lot of men working as crew members in Phuket (Thailand), and Srilanka.”

The International Organization for Migration has estimated that there are around 48.5 million victims of human trafficking in the world – two-third of which are from Asian countries. “The victims are likely from the low-economy family, as they are easily seduced,” said Chief of Mission at the International Organization for Migration, Mark Getchell.

“It is not easy to handle human trafficking cases onshore, even more difficult offshore,” he added.