Indonesian migrant worker advocate wins human rights award

Labour rights article written on the 15 Sep 2011

Workers’ rights advocate Anis Hidayah has received the Human Rights Watch Alison Des Forges Award for her tireless efforts to ensure justice and human rights for Indonesian migrant workers.

For more than a decade Anis has been at the forefront of campaigns to recognise and uphold the rights of migrant workers.

Anis is known as the “go-to person” for migrant workers in trouble and her dedication to the cause is legendary — even while going into labour with her second child Anis responded to a call from a worker in need.

Migrant workers play a crucial role in Indonesia’s economy; last year an estimated 6.5 million Indonesian migrant workers contributed US $7.1 billion in remittances. However, abuse of migrant workers’ rights is widespread.

According to Anis local justice systems too often fail these workers. There are currently 89,000 unresolved migrant workers cases and more than 300 migrant workers face the death penalty.

Anis believes that women migrant workers in particular require more attention. “More than 70 percent of our migrant workers are female, but the Migrant Worker Law doesn’t mention anything about this,” said Anis.

Anis, the Executive Director of Migrant Care, has dedicated her award to all Indonesian migrant workers, especially those who have struggled for the recognition of their rights.

Read more about Anis Hidayah and the Human Rights Watch Awards

Main image courtesy of DPR photo gallery