Just two years ago, Indonesia boasted of having zero child pimps who would work as the boss for a group of other kids involved in the sex trade. However, recent reports have claimed that there are more than 21 such child pimps in the country who act as maamis, selling sexual services to local and international clients. Most of these maamis are only 16 years old. And shockingly, most of the workers in their groups would be in their early teens, between 11-15 years old.
Reports suggest that children get attracted to the money and other awards available in the business. A child pimp in the country can make anywhere between $1000 to $3000 a month, with those managing groups earning double or triple that amount; a fortune in an economically poor country like Indonesia.
The internet has made it all the more easier for these kids to meet, interact and arrange dates with clients, with the transactions for the same being made online as well. Most of the kids in the business use nicknames to interact with clients.According to reports produced by the U.N. International Labor Organization, nearly 70,000 children in the country knowingly or unknowingly become victims of sexual exploitation. And this figure is for one year alone.
In most cases of kids resorting to these activities, the underlying factors happens to be parental abuse, poverty and consumerism. There have also been instances of kids becoming pimps just to get their hands on the latest electronic gadgets and fashion ensembles they spot on the wealthier members of the society.
These underlying factors force these kids onto the streets where they bond with others in similar situations, forming a group and living together in a small apartment or room. One of the kids in this group usually tends to be the pimp with prior experience who would then lure his/her roommates into the profession by promising lucrative returns. While some would agree willingly for the money involved, others would have no option but to tag along in order to make ends meet. These kids usually pay their leader (the experienced pimp) in case, drugs or booze for his/her services (arranging clients), with some even contributing to the house rent and utilities.
While prostitution rackets led by adults are quite common, the very notion of a child pimping out other kids for sex is hard to even conceive. These kids are definitely being abused, and would need to leave the business if they can ever dream about leading a normal life in the future. Organizations like YayasanBahtera aim at providing support for such kids who chose to leave the profession behind and start a new life. The foundation also provides counseling and help for kids still involved in the business in the hope that they too would be able to leave everything behind them and start over.