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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Document to Work

The government of South Sulawesi, one province in Indonesia, recently has planned to issue regional regulation to minimize or diminish the practice of children and women trafficking. There have been many cases where women from this area are employed in “indecent places” such as bars, nightclubs, as naked dancers or prostitutes abroad. (NOTE: they were cheated. At first they were promised to work in ‘decent’ places, such as waitress, but then they were employed as naked dancers or prostitutes). The local government thought that to anticipate it, they needed to issue a certain regulation. One article in the regulation stated that to work abroad, a woman/a child has to get written permission from the chief village. When she doesn’t have such a document called SIBPA (Surat Izin Bekerja Perempuan dan Anak/A Permission Letter to Work for Women and Children), they are not allowed to work.

However, then, it creates another problem: the unfair treatment toward male and female workers. Male workers are free to work anywhere they want, they don’t need to undergo a complicated process by getting such a permission document from the chief village where they live; while female workers need to get that document. The impact? If a female worker doesn’t have that, and she insists working, she will be exposed to some risks:

1.She will be arrested and put in jail because they are considered to violate law.
2.She will get no protection from the government when something wrong happens to her, such as violent treatment from the employer.

Not to forget that those women who are willing to work abroad, and who sometimes are cheated by the irresponsible agent are from poor family. They need money to survive, and not just for self-esteem or self-actualization (according to the hierarchical needs of Maslow’s theory). They have to go abroad because the local government cannot provide them enough job vacancies whose salaries are expected to secure their future.

While for children who are supposed not to work, but to get education to prepare their future, they can be legally employed after they get that permission document.

Therefore, women groups think that instead of protecting women and children from trafficking, this regulation even violates their rights to work for women, and to pursue their education for children.
PT56 12.25 230707

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