Intl. Migrants Alliance calls on Indonesian govt. to ensure its workers' safety, well-being

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Nov 22 2010

Reference: Ms. Eni Lestari, Chairperson

International Migrants Alliance (IMA)

Cellphone no. +852-9608-1475

Justice for all victims of crimes and rights violations against migrants! The Indonesian government must ensure protection of the rights and wellbeing of their people abroad!

The International Migrants Alliance (IMA), a global alliance of more than 100 grassroots migrants, immigrants, refugee organizations and their advocates, strongly condemns the recently reported brutal murder of an Indonesian domestic worker by her employer in Saudi Arabia. The news report also mentioned that the body of the victim was found in a dumpster.

IMA chairperson Eni Lestari said, “This incident is most inhuman and barbaric. It shows just how foreign domestic workers are being treated not just in Saudi Arabia but also in other countries in the Middle East.”

The IMA asserts that the heinous crime actually underscores the continuing violence committed against women, in this case to women migrants. “It is truly unfortunate that we have to know of this gruesome act as the commemoration of the International Day of the Elimination of Violence Against Women draws near. How many more crimes and injustices have to be committed against women migrants before there can be justice? The crimes, the violation of our rights, the violence must end”, Ms. Lestari demanded.

Herself an Indonesian, Ms. Lestari lamented that while cases of abuse of Indonesian migrants in the Middle East are reported, the Indonesian government remains ineffective in addressing them and continues instead to send women in the region. Saudi Arabia is one of the major destinations of Indonesian women migrants.

The Badan Penempatan dan Perlindungan Tenaga Kerja Indonesia (BNP2TKI) in its August 2007 report mentioned that more than 2.5 million Indonesians work in the Middle East and majority of them can be found in Saudi Arabia. There are more than 5.6 million Indonesian migrants working abroad.

On a related note, a Jakarta-based migrant-serving institution recently documented more than 6,500 cases of abuse against Indonesian migrants working in the Gulf.

“As long as the Indonesian government sends their people to the Middle East, abuses and murders of our people will continue. We demand justice not only for our dear sister and the punishment of the perpetrator but for all those who have suffered and died abroad,” said Lestari.

IMA demands the Saudi government to conduct a thorough investigation, apprehend the murderer, provide compensation to the victim’s family and dispense justice. As well, the Indonesian government should exhaust all diplomatic means to the Saudi government to ensure the above and to provide its own legal and welfare assistance to the family of the victim.

Likewise, it is currently coordinating with its member organizations to campaign for the International Labor Organization Convention for Domestic Workers and other partner trade unions to ensure protection of the rights and wellbeing of foreign domestic workers. #

Advancing the rights of migrant workers throughout the Middle East