JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's largest Muslim organization said Wednesday that millions of supporters are demanding the government stop sending its citizens to Saudi Arabia to work as maids.
Said Aqil Siradj, chairman of the group Nahdlatul Ulama, said that 12 Muslim groups with more than 100 million followers urged the government to halt the practice until safeguards are implemented in the Middle Eastern country.
More than 80,000 Indonesian maids flock to Saudi Arabia every year through employment agencies working under the country's labor export policy.
Rights groups say they often face slavery-like conditions and sexual abuse. The issue generated outrage last month with media coverage of a 23-year-old woman whose lips were cut with scissors and back burned by an iron.