Indonesia: Briefing to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women: Women and girl domestic workers

January 1, 2011

Indonesia: Briefing to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women: Women and girl domestic workers

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(16) In the 2007 study of the National Commission on Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan), 74 per cent of reported cases of violence against women occurred in the household environment, and over 82 per cent of victims were housewives. Violence against domestic workers remains poorly documented and reported; only 0.4 per cent of total reported cases of domestic violence were reported. See Komnas Perempuan, "Di rumah, pengungsian dan peradilan: KTP dari wilayah ke wilayah",


(17) Ibid.


(18) The police have established 237 "special treatment units" or "women's desks" throughout the country where female officers receive reports from women and child victims of sexual assault and trafficking and where victims find temporary shelter. See answer 12 in CEDAW/C/IDN/Q/5/Add.1, 2007.


(19) See Legal Aid Foundation Apik website, at


(20) See 2.1 Social and Cultural Context in AI document "Exploitation and abuse: the plight of women domestic workers" AI Index ASA 021/001/2007.


(21) Report of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, UN Doc. A/53/38/Rev.1 (1998), para. 303.


(22) Should they contradict each other, the most specific law relevant to that crime will take precedence.


(23) This situation is often compounded by restrictions on freedom of movement. Some domestic workers were not permitted to leave their employers’ house, and some reported being locked into their rooms at night by their employer.


(24) "All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Protection of workers is intended to safeguard the fundamental rights of workers and to secure the implementation of equal opportunity and equal treatment without discrimination on whatever basis in order to realize the welfare of workers/labourers and their family by continuing to observe the development of progress made by the world of business." Act of the Republic of Indonesia No. 13/2003 Concerning Manpower (Manpower Act), 25 March 2003. English translation available at the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration website,


(25) Manpower Act, Art 1 (4-6).


(26) During interviews with officials from the Ministry of Manpower, Amnesty International was told that domestic workers are not covered at all by the Manpower Act and do not fall under the responsibility of the Ministry.


(27) Manpower Act, Art 186 (1).


(28) See "Rancangan Undang-Undang Republik Indonesia Nomor: … Tahun… Tentang Perlindungan Pekerja Rumah Tangga" (Draft Law on domestic workers), Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration.


(29) A number of conditions must be filled before a recruitment agency or a private employer is authorised to recruit a domestic worker between the age of 15 and 17 years old (e.g. they must obtain prior parents’ authorization, ensure the domestic worker can read and write, that she will not work at night, that she will have the opportunity to continue studying etc).


(30) It includes the right to adequate breaks, the right to a healthy and safe working environment, the right to form or join a union, the right to practice their own faith, and the right to be free from discrimination and violence in the home.