Yasmine Soraya

Indonesian Migrant Workers Unionname

Ms. Soraya has had a pivotal function in the development of her organisation. Shortly after the formation of the group, in 2011, the then Chairman of IMWU passed away and in the period that followed Ms. Soraya was the main person to manage the process of collective grief by the members and ensured that the organisation set up a flourishing structure in the four cities in the country with most Indonesian migrants.

Ms. Soraya is a bridge-builder within her migrant community. IMWU is a support and advocacy organisation for Indonesian migrant workers in the Netherlands. Most of the migrants are in domestic work, doing cleaning, gardening or babysitting. The large majority of them are undocumented. Ms. Soraya is successful in encouraging solidarity between documented and undocumented migrants, thereby ensuring a platform for all voices of the migrant community to be accounted for. An example is the film Dispereert niet! produced by IMWU in which many undocumented migrants feel safe and tell their personal stories without being anonymised.

Ms. Soraya opens up new possibilities. She advocated with the Indonesian embassy in the Netherlands for the possibility to have passports renewed and was successful. This embassy now can renew passports for Indonesian citizens. This is a major achievement, as before many Indonesian migrants became undocumented once their passports expired. The embassy is also willing to work further with Ms. Soraya and IMWU, for instance by lending Ms. Soraya assistance in the organisation of a tour through Indonesia in July and August 2015 in which she will speak with local authorities about their responsibility and actions in relation to migration from Indonesia, a topic that was a taboo for many years.