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Protection of Indonesian Domestic Workers: Awareness Raising at National and Local Level

The campaign is aimed to educate and to raise awarenes of migrant workers communities about the protection of the rights of domestic workers, including ensuring the specific protection and needs of female domestic workers, and about the current development of the Indonesian bill on the protection of domestic workers and of the international standards-setting on domestic workers safe migration and the rights of workers.

Type: Campaign
When: 14 February - 5 March 2010
Where: Jakarta, Indonesia
Contact(s): Ms Lotte Kejser, Chief Technical Adviser of the Migrant Workers Project, ILO-Jakarta

Background

This project builds on the project cooperation between Jala PRT, an Indonesian network of NGO working on domestic worker’s issues, and ILO Project Combating Forced Labour and Trafficking in Migrant Workers in order to comprehensively protect domestic workers through a strategy of awareness-raising and advocacy at national and local level in Indonesia.

Domestic workers represent the single largest group of female salaried workers toiling away in households of others in their own country or abroad. Despite the important role of domestic workers in the household and overall economy, domestic work is still not recognized as work. Since their work is done in private households, which are not considered work places in many countries, their employment relationship is frequently not addressed in national labour laws or other legislation, denying them recognition as workers entitled to labour protection.

Domestic work is considered undervalued and poorly regulated, and many domestic workers remain overworked, underpaid and unprotected. Accounts of maltreatment and abuse, especially of live-in and migrant domestic workers, are regularly reported in the media. In addition, in many countries, domestic work is largely performed by child labourers.

According to an ILO study in 2004, there were an estimated 2,593,399 domestic workers in Indonesia; of these, 1.4 million domestic workers were estimated to work in Java alone. The vast majority of domestic workers are female with low educational levels; they mainly come from poor families in rural communities. Seen as informal sector work, the Indonesian government’s current interpretation of national labour law excludes domestic workers from its coverage. So far, very few Asian countries, such as the Philippines and Hong Kong, have extended the coverage of national labour standards to domestic workers.

Jala PRT in collaboration with and support from ILO Jakarta Combating Forced Labour and Trafficking of Indonesian Migrant Workers Project, organize a public campaign event in Jakarta and series of radio discussions in 10 selected areas in conjunction with the Commemoration of Indonesian Domestic Workers’ Day which falls annually on 15 February.

Main Objectives

  • To contribute towards improved protection for Indonesian domestic workers.
  • To educate and to raise awarenes of migrant workers communities about the protection of the rights of domestic workers, including ensuring the specific protection and needs of female domestic workers, and about the current development of the Indonesian bill on the protection of domestic workers and of the international standards-setting on domestic workers safe migration and the rights of workers.

Direct Collaborators/Target Audiences

  • Jala PRT – Contracting Partners
  • Indonesian Trade Union Confederations
  • Indonesian Migrant Workers Trade Union
  • Representatives of Indonesian Government/Ministries
  • Representatives of Indonesian Parliament Members
  • General Public

Main Project Component/Activities

Commemoration of Indonesian Domestic Workers’ Day

On Sunday 14 February 2010, Jala PRT, together with at least about 200 invitees including Minister of Manpower and Transmigration and Minister of Women’s Empowerment, sews a giant napkin, as a symbol of domestic workers’ working tool, and will drape it around the neck of a giant doll of female domestic worker. The giant doll itself is designed with many arms where each of the arms will hold other symbols of domestic workers working tools. One of the arms of that giant doll holds a shield of legal protection for domestic workers. On the venue, Jala PRT also prepares an installation art; a three dimensional works which will is designed to become the artistically medium in order to deliver the campaign message of the protection of rights of domestic workers.

The installation art takes a form of rope spread out for drying clothes which is the common way for Indonesian people to dry their clothes and other laundry items. On each of the laundry items being dried, a campaign message will be printed out such as: “Who is the one who prepares your working clothes everyday?” delivering an indirect message for public to remember the importance of the role of domestic workers, in their daily life.

The commemoration will be attended by representatives of domestic workers, of Indonesian government offices, of Indonesian trade union confederations, and of NGOs that are working on domestic workers and on migrant workers issues.

Series of Radio Discussion Programs in 10 Selected Areas

In addition to the above event, Jala PRT also organizes series of radio discussions in 10 selected areas (Medan, Lampung, Semarang, Solo, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Mataram, Samarinda, Bali, and East Nusa Tenggara). Jala PRT’s local networks in those selected cities will collaborate with respectively the following local radios for organizing interactive radio discussion: Radio Republik Indonesia Medan, Star FM, Radio Republik Indonesia Programa 1 Central Java Province, RIA FM and Sonora, Global Radio and PTDI Radio, Radio Republik Indonesia East Java Province, Prambanan Radio, Radio Republic Indonesia Bali and Gema Suara Radio.

Resource persons for the above radio discussion series are representatives of local manpower offices/local parliament members, local trade unions/local NGOs.

Tags: forced labour, migrant workers, international labour standards

Regions and countries covered: Indonesia

Unit responsible: ILO Country Office for Indonesia

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