Ancha Maulana works at the Surabaya Children Crisis Center (SCCC), a partner organisation of Terre des Hommes Netherlands in Indonesia. As a social worker, Ancha provides support to the most vulnerable children in the country.
Ancha joined SCCC in 2018 and he is currently helping with the closure of the Down to Zero (DtZ) programme. He provides assistance to children that are victims of abuse, witnesses, and who are in conflict with the law. This comes in form of education, counselling, reintegration, legal assistance, and advocacy.
The DtZ programme involves many communities and local governments to advocate for child rights. These rights are not often considered, where children are treated as adults and as suspects - not as victims.
“My motivation to join DtZ program is driven by many child predators who target and destroy children's futures by exploiting and sexually abusing them. Many children are also victims of trafficking for commercial sexual purposes, and many child victims and children's rights are simply neglected”, Ancha said.
He added, “The toughest challenge is dealing with the child victims themselves, and being able to convince the law enforcement officers to have a child-centered approach in carrying out legal processes. Another challenge is to seek facts and gather information from the public and vulnerable groups. Without their cooperation, advocating against these sensitive issues is difficult”
Over the past two years that Ancha had been involved with Terre des Hommes, he became hopeful that children who have been abused have a chance of a better future. Ancha said, “As I accompany child victims to report their experiences to the police and as I witness perpetrators receive their punishment and verdict for the crime that they commited, I become satisfied with the work that I do”.
“I hope that when this program is completed, all elements of society and government agencies both from the national and regional levels can work together and function properly in providing protection for children in vulnerable situations, including children in conflict with the law”, he added.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Ancha continues to carry out his work by following health protocols as he provides assistance to child victims.
Commercial sexual exploitation of children is a phenomenon that affects 2 million children worldwide. In an alliance named 'Down to Zero' Terre des Hommes Netherlands (lead), Plan International Netherlands, Defence for Children - ECPAT, Free a Girl and ICCO Cooperation work together aiming to end commercial sexual exploitation in ten countries in Asia and Latin America by 2020, together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. This 5-year programme enables children and young people to defend their own rights, enables communities to become safer and protective of their children against commercial sexual exploitation enables governments to improve and implement related policies, laws and regulations. The Alliance also collaborates with the private sector, for example in the tourist industry.