Document – Indonesia: Delay in Domestic Workers Bill will prolong exploitation and abuse
AI Index: ASA 21/007/2010
3 June 2010
Indonesia: Delay in Domestic Workers Bill will prolong exploitation and abuse
Yesterday’s decision by the Parliamentary Commission IX to postpone the drafting of a Domestic Workers Protection Bill is a step backwards for the protection of workers’ rights in Indonesia, Amnesty International said. This move clearly goes against the National Legislation Program (Prolegnas) 2010 which had prioritized this law for debate in 2010.
An estimated 2.6 million domestic workers remain unprotected under legislation safeguarding workers’ rights, in particular the 2003 Manpower Act. The Manpower Act itself discriminates against domestic workers – virtually all of whom are women and girls – because it does not provide the same protection it affords other workers, such as reasonable limitation on working hours; remuneration adequate to secure a life with dignity; and provisions for rest and holidays.
The result is that women and girl domestic workers live and work in abusive conditions. They experience economic exploitation, and physical, psychological and sexual violence on a regular basis.
The delay will prolong the vulnerability, exploitation and abuse of domestic workers in Indonesia. Female domestic workers should be granted equal protection along with other workers. Moreover, this decision is not in line with the steps the Indonesian government has taken to increase protection of Indonesian migrants, including domestic workers, outside the country.
This morning activists from the Domestic Workers Advocacy Network (Jala-PRT), a national coalition working for the rights of domestic workers, and various workers’ unions and coalitions, organised a demonstration outside the House of People’s Representatives building. They called on the Parliamentary Commission to adhere to the National Legislative Program 2010 and review their decision.
Amnesty International has also been campaigning for the government to provide legal protection to domestic workers in accordance with international human rights law and standards.