(MENAFN - Jordan Times) The Indonesian embassy in Amman said it will file a lawsuit against a Jordanian doctor who reportedly abandoned his Indonesian domestic helper near the Directorate of Chest Diseases and Foreigners' Health last week.
Aminah, who was infected with tuberculosis, arrived in Amman last year. She was living in difficult conditions and subjected to physical abuse by her employer's mother, Indonesian Deputy Ambassador Ari Wardhana told The Jordan Times on Sunday.
"We are currently collecting information from the girl to file a lawsuit against the doctor. We will take this matter to the Jordanian government," Wardhana said, adding that the 28-year-old Indonesian has not received her salary since she arrived in Jordan in January 2008.
"She worked for 19 months without payment and has been beaten by the doctor's mother," the Indonesian diplomat said.
"She is a human being, and should have been treated in a better way."
Al Ghad newspaper reported on Saturday that the Indonesian national's employer, who was not identified, initially denied that she worked for his family, but investigations proved this claim to be false.
Meanwhile, Director of Chest Diseases and Foreigners' Health Directorate Khalid Abu Rumman said that the doctor's children contracted TB as well, because Aminah did not receive the required medication in time.
"When found near the directorate, Aminah's weight was less than 20 kilogrammes, and we immediately referred her to a specialised medical centre for treatment," Abu Rumman told The Jordan Times yesterday, adding that she needs at least two months to recover from TB.
Aminah is currently being treated at Al Noor Centre for TB patients in Mafraq.
According to Jordan Medical Association President Ahmad Armouti, the association will investigate the doctor.
"We have formed a committee to decide whether he is guilty or not. We want to get his side of the story before judging him. But one bad doctor does not mean that all doctors are bad," Armouti told The Jordan Times.
"I visited the girl and her health situation is better now," he noted.
According to Labour Ministry figures, between 20,000 and 30,000 Indonesian domestic helpers are currently working in the Kingdom.
The two countries' labour ministries signed a memorandum of understanding in April this year to regulate the recruitment of Indonesian domestic helpers in the Kingdom.
Minister of Labour Ghazi Shbeikat, who signed the agreement with his Indonesian counterpart, Erman Suprano, said the memo will provide Indonesian domestic helpers in Jordan with legal protection. The memo also entails activating the role of the Indonesian embassy in Jordan in following up on Indonesian domestic workers and addressing problems they face.
Last month, the government exempted hundreds of Indonesian domestic helpers who sought refuge at their embassy in Amman from overstay and other fines and the embassy arranged for a direct flight to take the workers to Indonesia.
The domestic helpers, who ran away from their employers, had been seeking refuge at a specially designated shelter at the Indonesian embassy's premises in Amman.
Last month, the Cabinet endorsed new regulations, under which domestic helpers are entitled to religious freedom, healthcare, 10-hour workdays and one day off per week among other benefits.
Designed to protect the rights of domestic workers in accordance with international human rights standards, the regulations correspond to a recent amendment to the Labour Law, and will come into force after being published in the Official Gazette.
The regulations stipulate that employers are required to pay for their domestic helper's work permit and the issuance of a residency permit.
In addition, domestic helpers are entitled to be in contact with their family in their homeland at least once a month at employers' expense, as well as decent living conditions and freedom to practise their own religion.
By Khetam Malkawi