Authorities in Indonesia's capital Jakarta confirmed on Thursday they will launch a crackdown child exploitation after the emergence of several cases varying from violence to sexual abuse.
Tens of thousands of children are trafficked every year in Indonesia, with the majority forced into prostitution and manual labour, UNICEF said.
Last year, an Indonesian court overturned convictions against two teachers who were sentenced to 10 years in prison for sexually abusing young students at a prestigious international school in Jakarta.
The drive follows the arrests last month of several Jakarta residents who sedated infants and used them to beg for money or hired them for motorists looking to evade minimum passenger norms designed to fight the city's notorious traffic congestion, Reuters reported.
"These cases are a wake-up call for us all to improve our policing style, to make it proactive and prevent violence against children," said Jakarta police spokesman Mohammad Iqbal.
Authorities have also begun to build safe houses for exposed children in Jakarta.
This week, the city government begun to establish new rules that limit the number of passengers in cars in order to decrease child labour.
"Many victims are traumatised and stressed when they come to us, so we have to counsel them," said Neneng Heryani, the director of a state-run rehabilitation centre that offers academic, sport and musical activities for the children.