Tuesday, January 09, 2007

UN Special Reporter Finds Human Rights Violations Among Indonesia’s Migrant Workers

Wednesday, 20 December, 2006 | 17:19 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: Jorge Bustamante, an United Nations (UN) Special Reporter for Migrant People’s Rights, said that many Indonesia’s migrant workers (TKI) suffer human rights violations.

“They have been raped, made to work s prostitutes and many other violations,” said Bustamante during a press conference at the UN office in Menara Thamrin, Jakarta, Wednesday (20/12).

Human rights violations mostly happened to female migrant workers and children.

During meetings with a number of former migrant workers, Bustamante found out that there are so many other violations related to human rights.

For example, extensive working hours, no break times, salaries that were paid not on time or even not paid and also mental torture.

What was even more surprising, he said, was that under the terms of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Indonesia and Malaysia on migrant workers employers are allowed to take away migrant workers’ passports.

“I’m really surprised with this condition,” he said, adding that he felt this point in the MoU would make the possibility of human rights violations against migrant workers even greater.

Another finding that was quite pitiable was the whipping penalty that the Malaysian government has imposed against migrant workers.

“I regret this very much because this is a form of human rights violation,” said Bustamante who during his 10 days of observation in Indonesia, visited and met with TKIs in Entikong—which borders on Sarawak, Malaysia and Tanjung Pinang.

Titis Setianingtyas


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