Hundreds of housemaids rallied at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta on Sunday, demanding that the government and the House of Representatives protect their rights.
The coordinator of the Domestic Workers Advocacy Network, Lita Anggraini, said the protesters wanted the House to pass a bill to protect domestic workers during the current legislative session.
She also urged the manpower and transmigration minister, the foreign minister, the women’s empowerment and child protection minister and the law and human rights minister to endorse the bill and the ratification of International Labor Organization Convention No. 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers, tribunnews.com reported.The bill was drafted by several NGOs.
The House has suspended deliberation of the bill since 2010. Lawmakers have been divided on requiring that domestic workers be paid the regional minimum wage and the Javanese ngenger custom, where a child stays in the house of a distant relative or family associate in exchange for housework.
“Hopefully, the House and the government of Indonesia will fulfill their responsibilities to respect, protect and ensure the rights of domestic workers,” Lita said.