Indonesia to close all red-light districts by 2019

Indonesian police and military personnel stand watch outside a cafe during a raid at the Kalijodo red-light district in Jakarta.
Indonesian police and military personnel stand watch outside a cafe during a raid at the Kalijodo red-light district in Jakarta. PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Indonesia aims to shutdown all of the country's red-light districts by 2019 in a bid to eradicate prostitution in the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation, the Jakarta Post said late on Tuesday (Feb 23), quoting the social affairs minister.

The government had already closed 68 red-light districts, while another 100 would be closed down within three years, said Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa.

Despite being illegal, prostitution is rampant in most major Indonesian cities.

Jakarta's governor has started closing down a major prostitution hub in the northern part of the capital, with evictions planned for Sunday.

In 2014, the mayor of Indonesia's second-largest city of Surabaya shutdown what was believed to be South-east Asia's biggest red-light district.