East Java Deputy Governor Saifullah Yusuf vowed on Thursday to close down all red-light districts in the province but warned it could only be done in steps.
Speaking at an Islamic boarding school in Pasuruan, Saifullah said his administration would work with the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) to close down all brothels across the province.
He said the administration would deal with the economic fallout of shutting down an entire industry and find new jobs for sex workers, while the MUI would handle “moral aspects” of the campaign.
Surabaya, the provincial capital, is home to the Dolly red-light district, said to be the biggest in Southeast Asia. City authorities have already restricted its opening hours and prohibited the hiring of new sex workers in a bid to slowly phase it out.