Migrant Workers’ Access to Justice at Home: Indonesia

The first comprehensive study analysing migrant workers' access to justice in their country of origin.  

Using the case study of Indonesian migrant workers who travel to work in the Middle East, it analyses the mechanisms through which those workers may access justice in Indonesia, and the systemic barriers that prevent most workers from receiving full redress for harms that they suffer before, during, and after their work abroad… Each year, more than half a million Indonesians travel abroad to work for foreign employers on two-year labor contracts. Around half go to the Middle East. They are typically women, from small cities or villages, with primary school education and limited prior work experience, and most are hired for domestic work in private households. Migrants from all countries performing low-wage work in the Middle East suffer particularly high levels of abuse and exploitation, in part due to the kafala system which bonds a worker to her employer in many Gulf States. Routine harms include unpaid wages, unsafe work conditions, inadequate rest, inhumane housing conditions, fundamental changes in the nature or conditions or work, the employers’ confiscation of the worker’s identity documents, or in some cases, confinement to the home and/or physical or sexual abuse. Learn more