A 25-year-old Indonesian woman from North Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, was left in shock and disbelief after finding out that one of her kidneys was removed earlier this year.
Sri Rabitah, who had been working as a housemaid in Doha, Qatar, for the past two years, says she was abused by her first employer.
In 2014, Sri, along with many other women from her country, applied to move abroad as a domestic worker, using the help of an agency. Although she thought she would be going to Abu Dhabi, UAE, she was sent to Doha to work with a Palestinian family.
Within the first few days of her employment, the woman was told to go to a hospital for a medical checkup. She recalls going into a room with medical tools and claims she was given anesthesia without her consent.
“Without permission, I received an injection. How come a medical needed an injection? The doctor said I was feeling weak, so I was told to relax,” Sri told the Detik news site.
When she woke up the next day, the woman discovered stitches on her stomach and found herself to be in pain. Sri claims she has no idea what happened and even though her employers didn’t address the matter, they sent her back home, saying she was unfit to work.
Sri was alarmed when following the procedure, she began falling ill on a regular basis. The resident of Sesait village soon went in for a checkup at a hospital where she was told that one of her kidneys had been removed. It was only then that she realized like millions of other Indonesian immigrant workers, she had also fallen victim to organ trafficking and migrant abuse.
“I want the government to sue the perpetrator. My kidney was stolen,” Sri said while urging authorities to help her fight back.
In light of the many incidents of organ trafficking and abuse against domestic workers, Indonesia banned its women from traveling to the Middle East for work purposes in 2015. Although Qatar is one of the countries on the ban list, thousands of women continue to travel there in search for work.
In 2015, the World Health Organization estimated around 10,000 sales of human organs take place on the black market annually. They are further sold to people requiring organ transplants, raking in billions in profits.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Suhaib Salem