Chronology of important events in the successful campaign of Indonesian migrant workers in Hong Kong against SE2258
In the following, we wish to relate the chronological sequence of events that PILAR, GAMMI and ATKI coordinated..
Monday, January 7, 2008: ATKI learned about the issue when members started to call and ask questions about the new policy. Information was immediately gathered for ATKI to have a proper analysis on the rule and its impacts to Indonesian migrant workers. ATKI called the Indonesia Consulate-General and they said that the rule was issued because of complaints from agencies that IMWs stop paying them the equivalence of seven-month salary. ATKI pointed out that such salary deduction is illegal.
In the succeeding days, ATKI called up leaders of PILAR and GAMMI about the issue and an immediate action for Sunday was planned.
Sunday, January 13, 2008: A popular action of 250 PILAR and GAMMI members demonstrated in front of the Indonesian Consulate-General in Hong Kong to reject the policy, SE 2258. PILAR and GAMMI declared their intention to hold a massive demonstration on February 10th to have policy number SE 2258 scrapped. PILAR and GAMMI initiated an anti-SE 2258 petition and collected 10 thousand signatures from Indonesian migrant workers in Hong Kong.
Sunday, January 20, 2008: A popular action of 300 PILAR and GAMMI members demonstrated in front of the Indonesian Consulate-General in Hong Kong to reject the policy, SE 2258. Simultaneously, 40 leaders of member organizations of PILAR and GAMMI held a meeting to prepare for an emergency meeting in the office of ATKI.
Thursday, January 24, 2008: PILAR and GAMMI erected a picket line outside the Indonesian Consulate-General in Hong Kong. The picket was reinforced by clients from Bethune House, Istiqomah Shelter, Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM), Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC) and Asian Migrants Coordinating Body (AMCB).
Friday, February 1, 2008: The network of major service providers that included the Mission for Migrant Workers (MFMW), Christian Action and the Helpers for Domestic Helpers (HDH) in Hong Kong met at St. John's Cathedral to discuss the issue, give their support, and unite on actions regarding policy number SE 2258.
Sunday, February 3, 2008: A popular action of PILAR and GAMMI members demonstrated in front of the Indonesian-Consulate General in Hong Kong. Simultaneously, PILAR and GAMMI held the final meeting in preparation for the massive demonstration planned for February 10th.
Tuesday February 5, 2008: The Indonesian Consulate-General issued a press release to state that the consulate would not rescind policy number SE 2258.
Saturday, February 9, 2008: PILAR garnered support for the rejection of policy number 2258 in Indonesia. Fifteen (15) organizations from various sectors and NGOs declared their support for PILAR and GAMMI's demand to reject policy number SE 2258.
Sunday, February 10, 2008: An anti-SE 2258 meeting was attended by thousands of Indonesian migrant workers at Victoria Park. Apart from Indonesian migrant workers, the open meeting received support from APMM, AMRC, MFMW, the Association for the Advancement of Feminism (AAF), members of AMCB such as the United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK) and the Thai Regional Alliance (TRA).
At 14:00 the people marched from Victoria Park, through Causeway Bay and stationed themselves in front of the Indonesian Consulate-General to demonstrate. The local police force only allowed 350 people to march, however other Indonesian migrant workers joined along the road. Around 1,500 Indonesian migrant workers gathered outside the Indonesian Consulate-General to demand the retraction of policy number SE 2258.
Monday, February 11, 2008: Student members of Front Mahasiswa Nasional (FMN) held a demonstration outside BNP2TKI in Jakarta, Indonesia, to demand an open dialogue about policy number SE 2258. They demanded that it should be retracted.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008: Gerakan Perempuan Untuk Perlindungan Buruh Migran (GPPBM) held a dialogue with BNP2TKI to discuss their demands for the scrapping of the SE 2258.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008: The Indonesian Consulate-General contacted PILAR and told PILAR that they accept the demands made by Indonesian migrant workers. They also requested a meeting with PILAR to discuss the retraction of SE 2258.
Thursday, February 14, 2008: Two representatives from the Indonesian Consulate-General sought the representatives of PILAR at ATKI's office. They stated that policy number SE 2258 would be frozen. For this reason, they asked representatives from PILAR to meet with the Consul-General Ferry Adamhar to discuss the measures that need to be taken after the policy is retracted on February 17th.
PILAR formally accepted the proposed measures and agreed to attend the closed dialogue on February 17th. However, PILAR declared that the group will not stop organizing actions for other issues like the illegal seven months deductions, overcharging and consular services for migrant workers on Sunday. Aside from that, PILAR demanded that the decision should be announced to other organizations. The Indonesian Consulate-General informed us that they had already done this.
Sunday, February 17, 2008: The closed dialogue was held. PILAR sent five representatives while other members held a demonstration outside the Consulate-General. After the dialogue, all Indonesian migrant workers in Hong Kong celebrated the deserved victory!
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