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INDONESIA Legislation to protect Indonesian domestic workers makes headlines again

INDONESIA Legislation to protect Indonesian domestic workers makes headlines again
INDONESIA Legislation to protect Indonesian domestic workers makes headlines again


Advocates are pushing for legislation following a recent wave of violence against domestic workers. A draft bill was first introduced 20 years ago but was never approved. Advocacy groups want the legislation to pass because the more liberal President Joko Widodo will be replaced later this year by the more conservative retired Gen. Prabowo Subianto.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – A recent wave of violence against domestic workers has sparked new action to get Indonesia's parliament to pass legislation to protect this group of workers.

Domestic workers number five million, most of them women, and for at least 20 years, their advocates have urged lawmakers to pass legislation to protect them because the country's labor law loophole encourages abuse.

Currently, proponents want Parliament to legislate before outgoing President Joko Widodo, seen as a liberal, is replaced by the new, more conservative president, retired army general Prabowo Subianto.

Several human rights and labor groups warn that without rapid progress, the issue could be postponed again indefinitely as a new House of Representatives takes office with the new president.

On Sunday, International Domestic Workers' Day, the National Domestic Workers Defense Network (Jala-PRT) organized a rally in front of the House of Representatives in the capital.

“The Domestic Workers Bill has been advocated for 20 years, but the House remains reluctant to recognize domestic workers as formal workers. As a result, domestic workers continue to face violations of their rights as human beings, workers and citizens,” said Lita Anggraini, national coordinator of Jala-PRT.

In a country with a huge army of domestic workers, many of whom work abroad, it is difficult to understand why it is so difficult to pass legislation. It is for this reason that any new law must be particularly sensitive.

The bill includes education and training, balanced rights and obligations between workers and employers, reasonable working hours, one full day off per week, 12 days of annual leave, health and employment insurance, age minimum working age of 18 and sanctions against bodily injury. aggression against workers.

However, it does not meet certain criteria such as minimum wage, working hours, unionization and the fact that workers are hired directly by families and not through an employment agency.

The bill was initially included in the National Legislative Program for 2005-2009, and the House conducted research and comparative studies but ultimately never adopted it.

Overall, despite its shortcomings, it nevertheless represents significant progress.




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