[Stop-traffic] News/Indonesia: Migrant Workers Demand Legal Protection

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/Indonesia: Migrant Workers Demand Legal Protection
From: J Ballinger (jeffreyd@mindspring.com)
Date: Sun Nov 19 2000 - 09:50:49 EST


: Migrant Workers Demand Legal Protection

Detikworld, December 19, 2000

Migrant Workers Demand Legal Protection

Reporter: Hestiana Dharmastuti / BI & GB

Jakarta - Around 50 female activists under the auspices of Indonesian Womenĺ─˘
s
Solidarity (SPI) staged a rally at the famous Hotel Indonesia roundabout in
the heart of Jakarta to commemorate International Migrant Workersĺ─˘ Day. They
not only protested human rights violations but demanded the Indonesian
government immediately legislate to protect migrant workers.

Despite the small number, the protesters carried many colourful posters and
banners, proclaiming ĺ─˘Stop Wage Pillagingĺ─˘; ĺ─˘Stop Fraudulent
Agentsĺ─˘; ĺ─˘End
The Death Penalty and ĺ─˘Stop Tortureĺ─˘.

The rally, held on Monday (18/12/2000), also included speeches in which
activists urged the government to ratify the 1990 UN convention to protect
migrant workers and their families.

"The UN convention in valid if ratified by at least 20 countries. Thus far,
only 11 countries, including Sri Lanka and the Philippines have signed,"
said
rally organiser Salma Safitri.

Salma said the SPI rally was intended to remind the government to
immediately
formulate legal protection for migrant workers, the majority of whom are
female working mainly as maids in domestic employment.

"We want migrant workers to have a proper increase in their living standards
because they have been exploited by Indonesian migrant workers agencies
(PJTKI), private agents, employers, immigration officials as well as the
Department of Human Resources in their search for a place to work right up
till they are due back home," said Salma.

The government, added Salma, must provide legal assistance and translating
services for migrant workers who have been accused of criminal activities
abroad.
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