|ATKI-HK: Women’s Participation and Collective Action to Promote the Rights of Domestic Workers|
GAATW Fortnightly Member Interview
After the convention was passed, ATKI with Asian Migrants Coordinating Body (AMCB) organised migrant leaders’ forum last July 2011 from Indonesia, Filipina, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Nepal. We also carried the demands and submit petition during the celebration of International Migrant’s Day to Indonesian and HK government to ratify C189.
We held a series of focus group discussions on C189 among international migrant workers organizations in Hong Kong, SAR and Macau. We also organised creative fashion show competition for domestic workers during Indonesian women’s day in April 2012.
With AMCB, we organised a rally to celebrate the first year of International Domestic Worker’s Day at the Hong Kong Government Office to demand the ratification of C189 from Chinese Government.
At this stage, the promotion of C189 and its importance for migrant domestic worker’s protection is very important. In every issue that we campaigned, we also ensure that it is linked with the importance of ratifying C189 such as agency problems, standard employment contract, consulate services, direct hiring and debt bondage.
So far, the organised Indonesian migrant workers are aware of C189 and the main leaders are able to provide education relating to this convention. A simple module is also created to facilitate the education and information awareness.
What challenges are there for your group and your network?
Education to migrant domestic workers
Lobbying for ratification and policies reforms
As a self-organised group of Indonesian migrant workers, ATKI has challenged ideas and led many activities to pressure governments in bringing better policies and programs for Indonesian domestic workers. What do you think is ATKI’s contribution in representing the voices of migrant workers in the policy making process?
ATKI is ensuring the public dissemination of information/policies released by the government/s and gathered the inputs/opinion/demands (from the consultations/forums) to be brought to the officials through petition, statements, dialogue and other forms.
The key of this is to gather more people to gain more power. In this case, ATKI is leading PILAR (United Indonesian against overcharging) and Indonesian Migrant Muslim Alliance (GAMMI) and formed Alliance of IMWs to scrap law 39 (with total of 50 groups).
We also try to influence high profile people to also help us pressure the consulate/government in passing better policies/measures for domestic workers’ welfare.
In this way, ATKI has played significant leading role in representing the voices and advancing the demands of Indonesian migrant domestic workers.
What are your strategies to pursuade governments to ratify C189?
Recently, the Philippines became the 2nd country to ratify C189. What do you think were the key factors that made this advocacy campaign a success?
The international pressure by different groups to the Phillipine government and good image that they want to create in terms of protection of domestic workers.