Briefing to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women: Women and girl domestic workers
Amnesty International welcomes the steps taken by the Government of Indonesia to fulfil its treaty obligations as a state party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW or the Convention), including the submission of its combined 4th and 5th periodic report to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (the Committee). The organization sees it as an integral part of the country’s commitment "to actively support national, regional and international processes that promote and protect women’s rights and (…) to intensify its attempts in eliminating discrimination against women and in applying zero tolerance for violence against women."(1)
Amnesty International welcomes the progress made by the Indonesian government to fulfil its pledge to combat violence against women especially through the recent passing of important legislations - a Domestic Violence Law and anti-trafficking legislation(2) were passed respectively in 2004 and 2007. However, the organization remains concerned that state officials are still failing to act with due diligence and to take appropriate measures to prevent and punish all forms of violence against women.
This briefing focuses on the lack of protection of women and girl domestic workers from gender-based violence and their discrimination in the field of employment, health and education. It also highlights their restricted access to education especially when they start work at the age of 12 or 13, and their lack of information on sexual and reproductive rights. While both male and female domestic workers suffer from discrimination, it affects women and girls disproportionately, as women and girls form the overwhelming majority of Indonesia’s estimated 2.6 million domestic workers - about 95%.(3) Many of them suffer from economic exploitation, poor working conditions as well as gender-based discrimination. Many are subjected to physical, psychological and sexual violence. Some are even killed. This situation partly results from discriminatory employment legislation and a lack of sufficient state mechanisms to prevent and punish violence against women domestic workers.
This submission does not address all of Amnesty International’s concerns related to the Convention, but focuses particularly on:
1. The obligation of the state party to prevent and punish all forms of violence against women, as set out in the Committee’s General Recommendation 19, including violence against women domestic workers by non state actors;
2. The obligation of the state party to take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women and girl domestic workers in the field of employment, health and education, as set out in CEDAW articles 10, 11 and 12.
1. Child Labour and right to education (Article 10)