Time for domestic workers to receive their rights

Linked with Lita Anggraini – Indonesia, and with Urban Poor Linkage (uplink) – Indonesia.

Published on The Jakarta Post, by Prodita Sabarini , 10/12/2008.

In the weeks before and after the Idul Fitri holidays many middle-class households are busy with domestic matters. Now, however, is when families go hunting for maids.

As the holiday ends and employees in the public and private sector return to work, anxiety begins to creep into the minds of families whose maids failed to return after joining the annual exodus (mudik) back to their hometowns …

… Djazirotin Nikmah, Care International Indonesia project officer for programs on child domestic workers said a third of the domestic workers were children.

“These children are more prone to exploitation and abuse as they are not as mentally developed as adults,” she said.

Jala PRT – consisting of a network of 28 organizations – attempts to fight for and protect domestic workers’ rights nationally, Lita said.

Jala is drafting a proposal for a bill to protect domestic workers which will be presented to parliament.

“Hopefully, it will be deliberated in parliament in 2010,” Lita said.

Jala PRT decided to develop an entire new bill rather than amend the 2003 Labor Law. This decision was taken due to the urgent need to protect domestic workers, Lita said.

“Domestic workers should be recognized in the Labor Law. However, it would take a very long time to amend the law, and a regulation is badly needed” … (full text).

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