Building the Frontlines: Our work in East Java with Fatayat NU

July 28, 2021
Category: Partnerships
Participants in a training programme on expanding legal capacities to support migrant domestic workers jointly organised by JWB and Fatayat NU

Indonesia is a large country, with migrant workers coming from across its regions to work abroad. A key sending region is East Java. Sitting next to Bali, East Java sends many workers to our target destinations of Hong Kong and Singapore. It is a key area for our capacity building work, and we aim to help organizations on the ground better support those who return from abroad in need of assistance.

One new partner is Fatayat Nadhlatul Ulama (NU), an autonomous Muslim women’s organisation that fights marginalisation, violence and injustice against women. Their interest in gender issues brings them to supporting the rights and needs of migrant domestic workers (MDWs) who return home. 

Signing an MOU with Fatayat NU in October 2020, we kicked off our partnership with a programme focused on “Expanding legal capacities in the aid and support of Migrant Workers in Indonesia, Hong Kong and Singapore”. The curriculum delved into the rights of MDWs in these countries and focused on training participants on relevant paralegal skills to better support MDWs. 

Over 60 participants attended the training, coming from all over East Java. Participants included various community workers from frontline organisations involved in migrant worker advocacy and care. Our law firm partners from Hiswara, Bunjamin & Tandjung participated in the event as expert resources.  

For paralegals, skills development means learning through practice. Between presentations, participants split into smaller groups to work on case studies. Together they examined the facts and strategised over next steps.  

Asnawati, one of the participants from Tulungagung, felt that the training was very helpful in expanding both her knowledge of Indonesian MDWs. She thought it was particularly enlightening in educating her on the rights of MDWs overseas. The training familiarised her with the complex range of issues faced by MDWs while overseas, and she looks forward to future collaborations between Fatayat NU and JWB. 

“Our team is extremely heartened that we were able to carry out the training session smoothly and successfully. We’d like to thank the participants who were so enthusiastic and engaged till the end of our training! We hope that the knowledge shared will be useful in handling MDW cases in their respective communities,” said Vivi Octavia, JWB Indonesia’s legal officer. 

“Alongside Fatayat NU, we look forward to continuing our work in building access to justice for workers in our community, even when they’ve returned to their hometowns,” Salsa, Head of Office for Indonesia, declared.