Dozens of migrant workers grouped in the Working Forum on Justice for Migrant Domestic Helpers staged a protest outside the Singaporean Embassy in Jakarta Friday demanding the abolishment of the death penalty for domestic helpers and other migrant workers in the city state.
“We have also launched worldwide actions to take our protest to the International Labor Organizations (ILO),” an activist of Migrant Care who coordinate the action, Anis Hidayah said.
The protesters also demanded that Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia ratify the international law to protect migrant workers as more workers were facing distressing situations and many others were facing the death penalty.
“After Sundarti Supriyanto, Purwanti Parji, and Sumiyati, now Juminem and Siti Aminah are waiting for the death sentence in Singapore which is scheduled to be announced on July 11,” Anis said.
According to Migrant Care sata, some other Indonesian migrant workers were serving their jail sentences and some were facing the death sentence.
Among these workers are Hasanudin, Sintring, Lili Ardi Sinaga, Nur Laela, and Suhaidi bin Asnawi.
The demonstrators also demanded the eradication of any form of violation, physically, mentally or sexually against domestic helpers and migrant workers.
“The crimes committed by migrant workers were a reaction to the accumulation of resentment against unjust treatment by their employers. This fact must be used as a point of consideration,” Yanti Muchtar of non governmental organization Kapal Perempuan said.
Earlier, last week, the NGO organized a similar action in front of the embassy but they were only received by the embassy`s first secretary.
“Because the ambassador is on leave, we hope that we can meet with the political attache,” Anis said.
During last week`s meeting, the embassy official said they could not do anything to stop the death penalty as it was the authority of Singapore`s courts.
“But we will continue to pursue efforts to have the death penalty scrapped,” Yanti said.
The demonstrators wearing black plastic sacks on their heads as a symbol of people waiting for execution.
They also spread black banners saying “free our foreign exchange earning heroes”, “stop women and children trafficking”, “SBY do not only send SMS”.
Anis said, they would move their protest to the Malaysian embassy for the same demand.
Responding to the demand, the Singaporean Embassy said it would convey the workers` demand to its government.