Press Release
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Ms. Gulnara Shahinian
Special Rapporteur on Contemporary forms of slavery
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Fax: + 41 22 917 9006
E-mail address:

No : 520/SK-KontraS/IX/2013
Subject : Allegation Letter Regarding Ill-Treatment to Skillet Manufactory Labour Slavery in Tangerang, Indonesia

Dear Honorable Sir/Madam,

On behalf of KontraS (The Commission for The Disappeared and Victims of Violence)- a human rights organisation based in Indonesia- we would like to give information regarding ill-treatment and slavery of (under-age) labour in Indonesia by private sector, and the allegation that the state aparattus near location knows about this matter yet act very slow and weak in dealing with this case.

We condemn this act of slavery and ill treatment of manufactory labour in Tangerang, Indonesia, based on Article 4 of the UDHR states that ‘No one shall be held in slavery or servitude: slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms’ which we believed still exist in many places around the world, including in Indonesia, particularly in this case. Not only in UDHR, but also in other international human rights instrument such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, where Indonesia has became a state party for those treaty.

The word ‘slavery’ here is covers many forms of it, such as; child labour and forced labour. Both forms of slavery mentioned above has happened in Tangerang, Indonesia.

This case begins 1,5 years ago when the skillet manufactory owned by Yuki Irawan start its business and committed human rights violation. The skillet manufactory which is located in Bayur Opak village, Lebak Wangi, Sepatan district, Tangerang regency is in the middle of residential areas. He has aluminum business industry in the manufacture of aluminum skillet or griddle and had 40 employees from outside the area. Then, on May 2, 2013, KontraS receive complaints from two victims, former workers of skillet manufacture; Andi Gunawan (20) and Junaedi (22). Both of them were forced to work for its manufactory for 2-3 months and experienced ill-treatment in various form, such as; hit, burned by cigarettes, and watered by alumunium fluids.

We have note several important points relating to this case, and we believe we need to inform you about this matter;

First, this case is one of contemporary slavery in the form of forced labour that covers various human rights violations. At first, all of them were promised by the two person name Topik and Usman (the mediator) to be paid Rp. 700.000 per month or equal with $ 70 and get overtime pay, and also get three times meals per day with the residence also. But, all the promise was refused and they never get anything from the promises. There is several point we believe here as the characteristic of contemporary slavery for this case, such as;

  1. the victims generally receive persecution and ill treatment from the company owner and the foreman, such as beaten, kicked, burned by cigarettes, doused with a hot liquid. Usually the victims get physical punishment if the forced labours made mistakes during working time.

  1. Second, the working time is inhuman and they did not get paid at all. Every day, from 05.30 am until 10 pm , those victims were hired to make 200 skillets and 300 lathes for each person without being paid and they were not allowed to socialize with the neighborhood. If the target can not be reached, they will get violent acts given by foreman and the owner of the company.

  1. Third, All of the victims (40 people) were imprisoned in a dirty and humid room size 40x40m.

  1. Last but not least, All their stuffs such as; money, mobile phone, clothes, and any other private stuffs were impounded by the owner of the manufactory for the security reason.

Second , From the result of the investigation, we questioned and doubt the failure of the government to protect it citizens from slavery which mentioned in many laws such as Law no.39/1999 concerning human rights and deplore the responsible institution for not doing their job such as Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration and The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce. Further more, after the investigation of the case, we condemn the slow action of Minister of Manpower and Transmigration, which previously had promises to prioritize this case but then they did not fulfilled their promise. The investigator from the manpower and transmigration ministry has been ordered to do the investigation since May 6, 2013, but up until now there is no follow up on the results of the investigation. Further more, payment given to the labour victims based on the result of the calculation of workers' rights has yet to be done. This result is very far from the promise of the Minister of Manpower and Transmigration, which said it would prioritize the case and facilitate the fulfillment of the rights of the victims. After four months from June until September 2013, those victims have not get their normative labour rights yet as regulated in law no.13 /2003. Although Labour Department has investigated this case, but the fulfillment of their rights has not been implemented yet.

Third, some of the victims are underage labour slavery which regulated in Law no 13/2003 concerning labour, article 1, point 26, states that “Child is a person under the age of 18 (eighteen) years” and article 68 as the key provisions prohibit the employment of individuals under age. More over it violates child protection laws, trafficking law, industry Act and last but not least is Law no.39/1999 concerning human rights, article no 20, states that “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude, and slavery the slave trade and servitude shall be prohibited in all their forms”, At this point, the government of Indonesia has failed to implemented those laws, because the government does not give and provide its protection to the victims on this matter.

Here below is the list of several underage labour slavery victims;

  1. Ajat Sudrajat (17), had been working and being a victim for 7 months

  2. Iwan (17), had been working and being a victim for 5 months

  3. Usup bin Fadroji, (17), had been working and being a victim for 7 months

  4. Doa Supiandi (17), had been working and being a victim for 7 months

Fourth, ommission by state aparattus in the form of weak and slow response in handling this case. We also noted, previously, there was a report from the citizens regarding this case to the police but not followed up. One of the residents on behalf of Catur Wunarta had filed the acts of police officers in this case to the Division of Profession and Security (internal police security unit/ Propam) Police Headquarters with no.STPl/122/V/2013, yet it has not been followed up. The complaint is as well as the report of former factory workers from Pandeglang relating the Tangerang Police investigator who did not follow up on their reports about that slavery case.

Regarding to the explanation above, we are looking forward that you are able to accept this allegation letter and request the government of Indonesia to:

  1. Investigate more on the involvement of police and military members in this slavery case, as one of the ways to stop the impunity in this country;

  2. Give an effective remedies, prioritize this case and implement the fulfillment of the workers rights to the slavery victims in accordance to the labour law;

  3. To effectively eradicate slavery in all forms in Indonesia, including in the area of business and human rights.

If you require any further information to assist with your inquiry, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you for your attention and consideration. We are looking forward to hear from you.

Yours Sincerely,

Haris Azhar
Executive Coordinator of KontraS


For any further information please contact Mrs Rei Firdha Amalia
(email; or / fax : 021-3926821
phone : 021-3926983, 3928564 )