Yudhoyno Urges UN Protection for Domestic Workers

Posted June 14th, 2011 at 9:55 am (UTC-5)
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Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has called on member states of the U.N. labor agency to support a draft treaty that offers worldwide protection to domestic workers.

Mr. Yudhoyono said Tuesday the document will provide guidance to governments on how to ensure the rights of domestic workers. He was speaking at the International Labor Organization's annual conference in Geneva. The ILO says there were at least 52.6 million domestic workers around the world last year.

President Yudhoyono says protecting domestic workers is an important issue in Indonesia because they make up a “relatively large portion” of Indonesian migrants living abroad. He says he expects participants at the conference to adopt the ILO Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers later in the week.

Mr. Yudhoyono says Indonesia is “intensifying cooperation” with domestic and foreign recruitment agencies and making arrangements with host countries to ensure that domestic workers' rights are respected. He says those rights include a minimum wage and days off.

The Indonesian president says his government also is “upgrading the knowledge and skills” of domestic workers to make them a greater asset to their employers and better contributors to the host countries.

Mr. Yudhoyono says domestic workers who work within their own countries must be given the same protection.