Major Issues in Indonesia

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Some major issues in Indonesia include abuse of labor workers, bird flu, human rights

and forced evictions. These issues play a powerful role in Indonesia's society and the

government should take action against these atrocities and/or be held accountability for the

wrong doings and deaths. The first major issue is abuse of labor workers. In the article "Abuse

rife at Nike's Indonesia plants" workers at nine factories under contract by the U.S. sportswear

giant Nike says they have either suffered or have witnessed sexual and verbal abuse. Abuse

included working illegal overtime and not being able to take sick or annual leave. The article

was based off interviews of more that 4,000 workers at different plants and funded by Nike itself. Nike has acknowledged that the findings are disturbing, but said it welcomes the chance to improve conditions. Nike has promised to fix the problems by launching independent investigations into the allegations of abuse and to establish a channel that will allow workers to bring harassment issues directly to the management.

Another article "Abuse in Indonesia cited" said "hundreds of thousands of girls working

as maids in Indonesia could be abused physically, sexually and psychologically". Human Rights

Watch criticized the government's failure to regulate the domestic service industry and to protect

the rights of child workers. Sahr Muhammed Ally a researcher for the Human Rights Watch

stated that "there's a denial of any exploitation and that the lack of government oversight gives

employers a blank check to abuse domestic workers."

The secretary general of the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration Tjepy Aloewie

stated that there are cases of abuse but they do not have enough data to know the extent of the

problem". A report released by Human Rights Watch consisted of 44 interviews with child

domestic workers. The report stated that "about half of them described their employers as

physically and sexually abusive. The article stated that "because domestic workers are not

recognized as official employees in Indonesia, they are not afforded basic labor rights such as a

minimum wage, overtime pay, an eight-hour workday and forty-hour workweek, weekly day of

rest, vacation, and social security,". The report called on the Indonesian government to

acknowledge the problem of domestic worker abuse here and to introduce reforms to protect

workers. Mr. Ally stated that "He doesn't think it's going to happen overnight".

Another major issue facing Indonesia is the Bird Flu. According to the article "Indonesia

Neglected Bird Flu until Too Late, Experts Say" by Yayu Yuniar "Indonesian officials covered

up and then neglected a spreading bird flu epidemic for two years until it began to sicken humans

posing a grave threat." Unlike Southeast Asian countries that began to see human cases almost

as soon as avian influenza was identified in their poultry, Indonesia had a generous head

start to prevent an outbreak among people. But since July 2005, it has registered more human

cases than any other country.
The article states that "Health experts say the Indonesian epidemic started in commercial poultry farms, spread among the tens of millions of free-range chickens raised in back yards across the country and then finally infected people. At each step, the Indonesian government failed to take measures that could have broken the chain, while discouraging research into the outbreak".

According to "Indonesia to declare H5N1 disaster" "Indonesia will declare bird flu a

national disaster, giving the government access to special funds to combat the disease that has

killed 63 people nationwide, the planning minister said. It has become an epidemic."

The authorities were preparing for the necessary slaughter of thousands of backyard

chickens as part of high-profile efforts...
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