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In U-turn, Indonesia will send maids abroad

Updated Mar 21, 2017 09:13am


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JAKARTA: Indonesia said on Monday it would continue to send domestic helpers overseas, in an about-turn welcomed by campaigners who said it would help prevent women falling prey to human trafficking.

Jakarta had previously said it would stop sending maids overseas from this year, on the grounds of protecting the women, sparking concerns it would push more poor Indonesians desperate for jobs into illegal migration.

However a senior official at the Manpower Ministry told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that Jakarta would not go ahead with the ban but it has been in talks with countries to ensure Indonesian maids are treated in a “humane” way.

“We are not stopping Indonesians going overseas to become domestic workers but we want better protection for them,” said Soes Hindharno, director for the protection and placement of Indonesian migrant workers abroad.

He said this includes preventing what he called “multi-tasking work” by Indonesian maids to reduce exploitation. “If they are housekeepers, they are housekeepers — they clean, cook and iron. If they are babysitters, they are babysitters — you can’t ask a babysitter to bathe your dog.”

Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2017


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Comments (3) Closed

jA-australia Mar 21, 2017 12:26pm

Indonesian maids in Singapore get paid almost half of what maids from Philippines or Vietnam get paid and they are treated better by their employers, because those countries have negotiated better guarantees for their people.

Alba Mar 21, 2017 05:03pm

The Indonesians are very sweet women, and their country wants them protected. Indonesia is more about family than Pakistan about family. Southeast Asians are orientals, not South Asians. They are more like Bangladeshis than Pakistanis. Indonesians are basically multicultural and not on the warpath.

Alba Mar 21, 2017 05:11pm

@jA-australia .... They are willing to work cheaper because they are close to home not far away in another country. They can go home for a holiday. Singapore is a 25 minute ferry ride away from the coast of Sumatra.