Tag Archives: Migrant Workers


Gratiane de Moustier: Hong Kong’s Indonesian Indentured Servants

Gratiane de Moustier: Hong Kong's Indonesian Indentured Servants

“A recruiter in Madium, Indonesia, checking a candidate’s fingers for cleanliness.” (Gratiane de Moustier/NYTimes)

“By creating conditions that keep Indonesian women tied to their debts, while limiting their movements and underpaying them, the Indonesian and Hong Kong governments and the recruiters force maids into a form of indentured servitude. The people of Hong Kong should demand that their government rectify the legal discrimination and provide more protections for their domestic workers. And Indonesians should do their part to reshape the recruitment system so foreign worker safety and dignity come before profits.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/14/opinion/hong-kongs-indentured-servants.html?hp&rref=opinion&_r=0)


Photo Essay of Indonesian Domestic Workers Abroad


From NYT: “Future maids are introduced to agency recruiters from Hong Kong. If chosen, they will have to pay the agency a fee of more than $1,700 American. Because they do not have that money upfront, they sign a loan agreement with a financial institution in Indonesia. The money is then shared by the training camp, the Indonesian government and the agency in Hong Kong.” (Gratiane de Moustier)

The New York Times “Lens” blog has a series of photographs by Gratiane de Moustier documenting the lives of Indonesian domestic workers abroad.  You can see the full series by following the link here.


From NYT: “Lis, 24, photographed in Bethune House, a shelter for migrant women workers in Hong Kong. Lis came from East Java in January 2012.” (Gratiane de Moustier)