police watch kalijodo demolition
Police look on as bulldozers demolish the Kalijodo district Reuters

Bulldozers started razing the infamous red light district in Jakarta, Kalijodo, on Monday morning, flanked by thousands of police and military personnel. Kalijodo was the largest red light district in Indonesia and is the latest to be destroyed in attempts by the Indonesian government to crack down on prostitution in the world's largest Muslim-majority country.

According to the Jakarta post, six families had refused to leave the area where hundreds of buildings are set to be demolished. The 3,000 residents of the area were given a week to move out. Hundreds of families that previously lived in the area had been relocated to state-owned low-rent apartments in the North and East of the capital.

The Mayor of West Jakarta, Anas Effendi, told reporters that once all of the buildings have been destroyed the area will be revert into a green space - "once it is all completed, we will rebuild the area completely."

The district sits on the edge of a river which floods annually. The government has said that the area needs to be turned into green space to assuage the yearly flooding.

Prior to the demolition, security forces raided the area a number of times, arresting many accused of being a part of criminal gangs as well as confiscating alcohol and weapons that they said would be used to try and stop the demolition. Kalijodo is the latest of almost 70 such sex-work districts to have business halted by the Indonesian government, with authorities saying they will stop the remaining 100 or so by 2019.