Police deployed to demolish Jakarta’s red light district

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Jakarta, Feb 29 (IANS) The Indonesian government on Monday deployed 5,000 police personnel to demolish hundreds of buildings in north Jakarta’s red light district of Kalijodo after residents were evicted from the area last week.

Police surrounded the area, shutting roads around 5.00 a.m. in a bid to prevent protests or resistance as about a dozen excavators razed the decades-old spot, EFE news reported.

North Jakarta Mayor Rustam Effendi signed off on the eviction letters issued earlier this month to Kalijodo’s hundreds of households who earn incomes mostly based on sex work.

Police raided cafes and brothels, arresting dozens for drug use and holding weapons ahead of Monday’s demolition, in which over 600 buildings are being cleared for an urban green space along a canal, which straddles north and west Jakarta.

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The government has also promised employment training for sex workers who wish to change professions.

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