The Domestic Workers, a.k.a Pembantu or Servants, would wake up at dawn before their Employers awaken, and sleep after their Employers have their dinner, or even slept.
Many of the said Employers treated their Domestic Workers unkindly, they would scold them when they are wrong and say nothing when they do good things.
Efforts have been made to protect the Domestic Workers but do not seemed to be fruitful. For example, the Provincial government of Jakarta has issued some by-laws to protect Domestic Workers, but news reports about bad and inhumane treatments still exists.
The central government has prepared a bill for Protection of Domestic Workers, but unfortunately the House of Representatives (DPR) postponed discussion for unclear reason.
In order to provide a " bird's eye view " on the sufferings of some of those Domestic Workers, I have quoted an article of The Star (below).
After a grueling, 18-hour day, 15-year-old Kaminah domestic worker would rest her head on a bag filled with blood-stained clothes, sleeping on cold ceramic tiles outside the bathroom.
The blood was her own, from the beatings inflicted by her employer on a daily basis.
“[Whenever I got a beating] I would always think of my family,” Kaminah told The Jakarta Post. “Late at night, before going to sleep, I would think about my father and mother and feel very sad. I miss my parents a lot.”
UNICEF estimates that more 100,000 Indonesian women and children are trafficked annually within the country and abroad, with about one in three being under the age of 18.
Pressured by families or lured with promises of work, an alarming number of girls and women find themselves in conditions of virtual slavery, both within Indonesia and abroad.
A recently released report by the U.S. State department on human trafficking lists Indonesia as a Tier-2 country for trafficking, for not fully complying with standards set by the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
“There is a particularly big problem with Indonesian women being trafficked as domestic workers, ending up basically enslaved in conditions in the Middle East, Malaysia, and to a lesser extent countries like Singapore,” says Elaine Pearson, Deputy Director of the Asia Division for Human Rights Watch.
“Part of the problem is that there is not effective oversight of recruitment agencies in Indonesia.”
But for some, the root of the problem lies not with the agencies, but with rampant poverty.
“I really wanted to finish school but we didn’t have enough money to pay for tuition,” another girl, Kiya, told The Jakarta Post. “So I decided to work as a domestic worker and help my family.”