Indonesian migrant workers in Middle East face abuse and rape

November 29, 2011

(AP/Ed Wray)
Activists act out the story of two Indonesian maids who were allegedly enslaved as employees for an Indian couple in the U.S.

In seeking work abroad, Indonesian migrants are particularly vulnerable to abuse. In countries like Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, they often work up to 18 hours a day without any days off. Many are unpaid and held in forced servitude; others are confined, beaten or raped by their employers.

Anis Hidayah, executive director of the Jakarta-based advocacy group Migrant Care and recipient of Human Rights Watch's Alison Des Forges Award, monitors abuses against Indonesian workers.

She and Nisha Varia, a senior researcher for the Women's Rights Division of Human Rights Watch, tell Worldview what's being done to curb the exploitation.