Ratna started working as a domestic worker at the age of 13. Her employer initially told her that her salary would be 350,000 Indonesian Rupiahs (around US38) per month. But what she got instead was just half that amount for a seven-day work week from five am until midnight.
Ratna was not allowed to take any breaks and was only allowed to go out once a week to hang the clothes out to dry. She slept on the hard kitchen floor and was locked in every night, supposedly for her own protection. This meant she couldn’t even go to the toilet at night. She also lost contact with her family because she was not allowed to make phone calls or send letters.
No protection under law
There are nearly 2.6 million women domestic workers, like Ratna, in Indonesia. They are not protected by current legislation safeguarding workers' rights. They are subjected to economic exploitation and physical, psychological and sexual violence inside homes. Many domestic workers are even denied sexual and reproductive rights such as access to information and services on family planning, contraceptives and the prevention of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Civil society groups in Indonesia have been campaigning for a specific law on domestic workers that will provide legal recognition and safeguard their rights.
The Indonesian parliament has included a domestic workers' bill in its legislative agenda for 2010. However, the parliamentary commission overseeing the drafting of this bill has displayed a lack of commitment in ensuring that it is drafted and passed.
Help Ratna and thousands like her
Sign the petition urging Indonesia's Parliamentary Commission IX to ensure the speedy drafting and passage of the Domestic Workers Protection Bill.
The final petition will be submitted to the Indonesian Parliament via our partners in Indonesia.
We need people like you to let the Indonesian government know that activists around the world are following developments on this bill.