All that has been caused by very poor protection provided by the Indonesian government and its representatives a.k.a embassies and consulates in countries where the Migrant Workers lived.
For example, when a Migrant Worker come to work in Saudi Arabia, they should give their passports to their bosses, and not allowed to keep phone numbers and addresses of our embassy and consulate, therefore they cannot do anything if something went wrong to them.
For that reasons, many of our Migrant Workers were victimized i.e. humiliated, raped, tortured, or even killed by their bosses. Some of them were sentenced to death on allegations of murdering their bosses.
Due to above, I was surprised when I saw on Trans-7 TV this morning, story about Nuryati Solapari (click here), a 32 years old Migrant Worker from Serang, Banten, who worked in Saudi Arabia after finishing High School, in order to be able to save to study at a university.
Before she left for the town of Tabuk, Saudi Arabia in 1998, the migrant worker recruitment agency did not provide her with any training, but they gave her a training certificate so as to obey regulations.
She therefore has to learn about her work and about local culture and tradition from fellow Indonesian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia.
And for her personal security, she wrote important things like passport number, phone and address of the Indonesian embassy/consulate in Saudi Arabia, not in an ordinary way but by knitting them on her pasmina/ scarf so that her boss would not find out about them.
After two years and eight months, she came home and studied at the Faculty of Law of the University Sultan Agung Tirtayasa in Serang, where she graduated in only three and a half years (click here). Afterwards, she got her Master in law degree.
Currently Nuryati is working as a Lecturer at the Faculty of Law of the above mentioned university. Beside that, she also has a license to practice as an Advocate/lawyer.
Nuryati frequently gave motivations and shared her experiences with candidate Migrant Workers, and because of that she has received the Indonesian Migrant Workers Award in 2010, and award from the government of Saudi Arabia.
I hope that other Indonesian Migrant Workers would follow Nuryati's above mentioned steps, and the Indonesian government would strictly control the training and dispatch of Migrant Workers abroad, and request the government of said foreign countries to provide much better protection for them
Photo : Courtesy of Era Muslim.