February 6, 2014- GABRIELA, together with Migrante International, trooped to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to conduct a dance-protest in solidarity with the call for Justice for Erwiana. Erwiana Sulistyaningsih, a 23-year-old Indonesian domestic helper, was beaten, burned and tortured by her employer in Hongkong.
Next to Filipinos, Indonesians comprise the second largest population of domestic workers in Hongkong. “Erwiana’s experience of violence is not isolated. She may be Indonesian but her experience is shared by many domestic migrant workers in Hongkong who are mostly women left vulnerable to abuse and exploitation,” said Joms Salvador, Secretary General of the women’s group. “It is thus in the interest of Filipino domestic workers that the DFA push Hongkong for swift justice for Erwiana.”
Salvador said that Indonesia, like the Philippines, promotes migration for work to boost the country’s gross domestic product through remittances. “In countries that implement the labor export program, the main concern is to push workers abroad and leave them to fend for themselves. When their citizens are maltreated in the host countries, they issue token protests or worse, do not even lift a finger to demand justice. In the end, victims do not get justice and this impunity leads to even more victims of violence and injustice.”
The protest action, which highlights the One Billion Rising for Justice dance-protest, is part of a global campaign that will see a billion women dancing in protest against the various forms of injustice that they experience. Internationally renowned theater artist and One Billion Rising global campaign coordinator Monique Wilson, joined the dance-protest. In Hong Kong, Filipino and Indonesian domestic workers will hold their One Billion Rising for Justice dance on Sunday, 09 February. The campaign will culminate on the global event on 14 February 2014. In the Philippines, GABRIELA and the New Voice Company are spearheading the campaign.