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Book source: Hoefte, R., De betovering verbroken. De migratie van Javanen naar Suriname en het rapport-van Vleuten, Karin Mulder,SWI Forum,jaargang 7, nummer 1, Juni 1990

Subject: [Report,History] van Vleuten - Javanese Contract Workers


H.L.C.B. van Vleuten, a civil servant in the Neth. Indies, went to Suriname in 1909 to examine the working conditions and treatment of Javanese contract workers. He was sent to Suriname by the Department of the Colonies at the recommendation of the plantation owners.

The end report was not complementary in regards to the colonial government and plantation managers that the report was shelved and put away in a filing cabinet for almost 80 years.

Without going into every detail detail of the report, this is what the researches of today found in the report: Recommendations: Improve the contract and the clauses and the treatment of Javanese contract workers.

Findings: The required by law work registers were inaccurate and hardly maintained. This made it difficult to check them. The published statistics by the government were unreliable and inaccurate. Everything reported was favorable to please the British government out of fear they would halt the flow of contract workers from British India. Wages were miserable and there was no pay raise planned. Wages were 1/3 or 1/4 of what was promised in their contract. The Javanese who were recruited were not suitable for hard field work. The work was too much for one person and to strenuous. What slaves performed in a 10 hr work week was now demanded from the Javanese contract worker in 7 hrs.


Met dank aan Albert Buys

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