Saturday, May 19, 2012

From Migrant Worker to Lecturer


For many decades, we have read and heard so many tragic stories about the faith of Indonesian Migrant Workers in foreign countries, especially Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.

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.

12 comments:

colson said...

She definitely has to be ( and was at the time) an exceptionally purposeful, brave, smart,diligent and intelligent woman. A real working class heroine.

So no doubt she is an example. Yet it's not reasonable to expect all of these qualities in all migrant workers. They can't cope for themselves and largely depend on the agencies, their employers and (Indonesian) officials.

Sad as it may be and in spite of the need for employment, but I think for the time being government should prevent them from going to some of these countries till a fair treatment there has been guaranteed.

H. Nizam said...

@Colson,
Yes you are right, we have expect migrant workers to handle and solve all of their problems by themselves.
Considering that such problem is related to foreign countries and citizens therefore the Indonesian government should be more active i.e. request foreign government to provide better protection for the workers a.o allow them to keep their passports and contacts with our embassies and consulates.

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Ismail N said...

"Stories are aplenty about working abroad. I am saddened by the unfortunate sufferings experienced by some Indonesian migrant workers, especially in the domestic sectors. But I do hope that stories of kindness and happiness would also be highlighted as that would serve as models to be emulated by the employers and aspired by the workers. Nuryati is the perfect example of triumph after hardship."

H. Nizam said...

@Ismail,
I am very glad to see you again.
I agree with you that happy stories about migrant workers should also be highlighted. Like you said that it would serve as models to be emulated by the employers and aspired by workers.

Linda said...

Inspiring story! Thanks for sharing it.

H. Nizam said...

@Linda,
I am glad that you like this post.
Thank you

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