Babylon & Beyond

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JORDAN: Indonesia to sue doctor for dumping sick maid outside a hospital

September 14, 2009 |  8:45 am

Indonesia-maid The Indonesian Embassy in Amman intends to sue a Jordanian doctor for allegedly abusing an Indonesian domestic worker at his home and then abandoning her outside a medical facility after she became ill with tuberculosis, the Jordan Times reported today.

Indonesian deputy envoy to Jordan Ari Wardhana told the paper that the victim, identified only as "Aminah," had not only been abused by her employer and his family, but also had been forced to work without pay since she arrived in Jordan in 2008.

“We are currently collecting information from the girl to file a lawsuit against the doctor," Wardhana said.

“We will take this matter to the Jordanian government," he added. "She is a human being and should have been treated in a better way."

Ahmad Armouti, president of the Jordan Medical Assn., said his organization will investigate the doctor, who has so far gone unnamed.

Widespread abuse of migrant guest workers, mostly Asian and African women who work as maids or nannies in the homes of well-heeled families throughout the Middle East has long been a human rights concern, including in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon

But as sensational stories about beaten maids or nannies driven to suicide in the Middle East wash up back home, they're fast becoming diplomatic issues as well. 

Widespread allegations of abuse have prompted Jordan to sign memorandums of understanding with Indonesia and the Philippines to regulate the recruitment of domestic labor and enforce worker rights.

-- Meris Lutz in Beirut

Photo: An Indonesian maid cleans a house in an advertisement. Credit: