ILO-JALA PRT to launch the compilation of Indonesian domestic workers’ legal cases

For more than seven years, Marni Siti* (name has been changed), 22 years old, was kept as prisoner in the home of her employer who regularly violently abused and deprived her of food, sleep and payment for long hours of grueling work. She finally managed to flee. With bruises and swelling all over her body, she went to the police and reported her abusive employers last February 2016.

Press release | Jakarta, Indonesia | 14 June 2017
JAKARTA (Joint Press Release) – For more than seven years, Marni Siti* (name has been changed), 22 years old, was kept as prisoner in the home of her employer who regularly violently abused and deprived her of food, sleep and payment for long hours of grueling work. She finally managed to flee. With bruises and swelling all over her body, she went to the police and reported her abusive employers last February 2016.

The case of Marni Siti is one of the legal cases involving Indonesian domestic workers and child domestic workers documented in the latest publication titled “Compilation of Legal Cases of Indonesian Domestic Workers and Child Domestic Workers”, produced by the JALA PRT, an NGO deals with rights of domestic workers, with support from the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The Compilation will be launched and reviewed on 16 June 2017 at Sari Pan Pacific Hotel, Jakarta. The launch is conducted in conjunction with the commemoration of the World Day against Child Labour and the International Domestic Workers Day which fall on 12 June and 16 June, respectively.

The first of its kinds, the publication documents and analyzes 24 major domestic workers’ cases divided into three major cases: Employment (15 cases), criminalization (4 cases) and criminal (5 cases). The cases involved both adult domestic workers as well as child domestic workers.

Domestic workers have the same legal rights at the workplace, just like other workers and profession. Therefore, the launch and the publication of the Indonesian domestic workers’ cases are crucial in responding to legal needs of domestic workers and in ensuring their rights as workers."

Michiko Miyamoto, Country Director of the ILO in Indonesia
The employment cases involve unfair dismissal due to, among others, sickness, pregnancy, lack of working contract, social security as well as dismissal without severance payment and benefits. Criminalization cases include false accusation and mistreatment; while criminal cases comprise domestic workers as victims of trafficking and of domestic violence.

All the cases had been handled by the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta) and the Legal Aid Institute of the Indonesian Women’s Association for Justice (LBH APIK), members of JALA PRT, with support from the ILO through its Promoting Decent Work for Domestic Workers (PROMOTE) Project. Funded by the United States Department of Labour (USDOL), PROMOTE Project aims at promoting decent work for domestic workers and reducing child domestic workers significantly.

“Domestic workers have the same legal rights at the workplace, just like other workers and profession. Therefore, the launch and the publication of the Indonesian domestic workers’ cases are crucial in responding to legal needs of domestic workers and in ensuring their rights as workers,” said Michiko Miyamoto, Country Director of the ILO in Indonesia commenting on the publication.

Despite the importance of the role of domestic workers, domestic workers are still not recognized as workers and their employment relationship is not addressed in national labour laws or other legislation, denying them from labour protection. Therefore, we urgently need a specific Law on domestic workers to provide better legal protection and to avoid any mistreatment and misconduct against domestic workers."

Lita Anggraini, National Coordinator of JALA PRT
In addition to the launch, the publication will be interactively reviewed and discussed as an effort to raise the public awareness about the cases involving domestic workers and child domestic workers as well as to provide better legal protection and wider access to justice for domestic workers. The discussants and reviewers include representatives from LBH APIK, LBH Jakarta, the Jakarta Indonesian Police (Polda Metro Jaya), domestic workers union and woman activist.

“Despite the importance of the role of domestic workers, domestic workers are still not recognized as workers and their employment relationship is not addressed in national labour laws or other legislation, denying them from labour protection. Therefore, we urgently need a specific Law on domestic workers to provide better legal protection and to avoid any mistreatment and misconduct against domestic workers,” said Lita Anggraini, National Coordinator of JALA PRT.

Domestic workers represent the single largest group of female salaried workers contributing to the households of others in their own country or abroad. To date, the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that there were 2.6 million domestic workers in Indonesia; of these, around 110 thousands are children under the age of 18 years old.

For further information please contact:

Arum Ratnawati
Chief Technical Adviser of the ILO’s PROMOTE Project
Tel.: +6221 3913112 ext. 130
Email: arum@ilo.org

Gita Lingga
ILO’s Communication Officer
Tel.: +6221 3913112 ext. 115
Email: gita@ilo.org