Press release

Ensuring the protection of Indonesian migrant workers through the integration of Gender Responsive Migrant Worker Resources Center (MRC) with Governmental One-Roof Integrated Service Office (LTSA)

The Integrated Gender Responsive Migrant Workers Resource Centre (MRC), which has integrated MRC with LTSA services, aims to increase the protection of Indonesian migrant workers, prospective migrant workers and their families in Cirebon district. Cirebon district is the third largest district for the placement of Indonesian migrant workers overseas.

Press release | 10 June 2021

CIREBON, Indonesia (ILO News) - The Ministry of Manpower, District Government of Cirebon, ILO-UN Women Safe and Fair Programme, Indonesian Migrant Worker Trade Union (SBMI) of Cirebon and Mawar Balqis Women Crisis Center officially launch the Integrated Gender Responsive Migrant Workers Resource Centre (MRC) in Cirebon District, West Java, on Thursday, 10 June. The MRC is officially launched by Minister of Manpower, Ida Fauziyah and the Regent of Cirebon (Bupati), Imron Rosyadi.

The integration of Gender Responsive Migrant Worker Resources Center (MRC) and the One-Roof Integrated Services (LTSA) for Indonesian migrant workers is the first pilot model in Indonesia and ASEAN. It is a form of multi-stakeholder partnership among the government, migrant worker unions and women crisis centers in developing integrated and coordinated services, in accordance with the the Law No. 18/2017 on the Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers to improve the protection of women migrant workers and their families at every stage of migration, including at the village level.

The MRC programme is also supported by Safe and Fair programme: Realizing women migrant workers’ rights and opportunities in the ASEAN, a joint programme by the ILO and UN Women. Safe and Fair is part of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls. Safe and Fair aims to ensure labour migration is safe and fair for all women in the ASEAN region, including Indonesia.

Ida Fauziyah, Minister of Manpower, emphasized the benefits of the integration of MRC-LTSA integration that will further enhance functions of LTSA by providing more gender-responsive and non-administrative services, access and comprehensive gender-responsive protection services for the optimal placement and protection of migrant workers. This programme also provides outreach services to villages, pre-employment consultation, psycho-social counseling service, case handling, legal aid, training for prospective Indonesia migrant workers and the provision of authoritative information.

Meanwhile, Vincent Piket, European Union Ambassador to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam, explained that COVID-19 pandemic has increased the risks of violations against the rights of migrant workers. The pandemic has also made it more difficult for migrant workers to get access to services.

The MRC's one-door stop services are essential for Indonesian migrant workers, particularly women migrant workers. The EU is proud to cooperate with the programme partners to assist in providing and delivering quality services to Indonesian migrant workers."

Vincent Piket, European Union Ambassador to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam
In addition, the MRC programme consists of a series of activities such as the improvement of data collection, gender-responsive labour migration governance at the village level, capacity building for local government officials and other service providers, strengthened coordination and social dialogue through the implementation of tripartite plus forums for the protection of migrant workers at district and sub-district levels. Other activities include efforts to strengthen village information centers and task forces for protection of Indonesian migrant workers, including supports to the village-based programmes initiated by both governmental and non-governmental organizations, such as the Productive Migrant Villages (Desmigratif), Migrant Workers Family Community (KKBM) and so forth.

Christa Rader, the Ad Interim Head of the United Nations Resident Coordinator for Indonesia, stated that this collaboration has demonstrated a joint commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, particularly the Goal No. 5 on Gender Equality, No. 8 on Decent Work and Economic Growth and No. 10 on Reducing Inequalites within and between Countries

Empowering and protecting the rights of vulnerable groups of workers and communities will accelerate the achievement of the SDGs.

Christa Rader, the Ad Interim Head of the United Nations Resident Coordinator for Indonesia
The data from the National Agency for the Protection of Indonesia Migrant Worker (BP2MI) revealed that Cirebon District is the third largest sending district for migrant workers after Indramayu and East Lombok, with 10,185 placements in 2018 and 11,829 in 2019. The 2017 World Bank report estimated that there were around nine millions of Indonesian migrant workers working overseas.

In 2016, Indonesian migrant workers remitted more than IDR 118 trillion back to the country. The 2018 Bank of Indonesia data also showed a significant increase in the remittance, contributing to Indonesian foreign exchange of US$ 8.8 billion or IDR 127.6 trillion. The contribution of the remittance was made by Indonesian migrant workers, most of them are women (67%).

Unfortunately, the significant amount of the remittance contributed by Indonesian migrant workers to the developments of both origin and destination countries have not yet followed by the protection efforts. Indonesian migrant workers still face and experience cases of violence, fraud, debt bondage, abandonment of children, divorce and mental disorders that have not been properly handled.

BP2MI also noted an increased number of cases faced by women migrant workers from Cirebon district, from 86 cases in 2018 to 278 in 2019. The cases faced were commonly in the forms of loss of contact, unpaid salaries, physical violence and unprocedural placement. Mei Hariyanti, a woman migrant worker from Cirebon, for example, was abused and forced to sleep outside on the terrace for 13 months when working in Malaysia.

Meanwhile cases faced during the COVID-19 pandemic are in the forms of repatriation or uncertainty of departure. Twelve prospective women migrant workers, for example, were subjected to fraud as they failed to be sent to Taiwan despite already paying tens of millions rupiah. Cases of upaid wages have also affected migrant workers who are still restrained in their home countries in the form of absence of compensation as an impact of working from home policy that have forced women migrant workers to work day and night and to bear additional obligation serving children of their employers who have to study from home.

These various cases and facts affirm the importance of serious implementation of the Law No. 18/2017, especially in ensuring information and protection services from the village level in order to prevent the recurrence of similar cases. The involvement and improvement of the village government roles and responsbilities, as stated in Article 42 of the Law 18/2017 on the Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers, are considered as an enabling policy to break the chain of trafficking and other cases faced by women migrant workers. The services provided at the district and village levels are part of the effort to bring them closer to the migrant workers’ communities.

For further information please contact:

Ministry of Manpower:

Manpower Office (LTSA-P2MI) of Cirebon District:  Rahendra| + 62-853-1500-1313

ILO – UN Women Safe and Fair Programme:
Sinthia Hakrisnowo | +62-812-8586-5698 |
Nunik Nurjannah | +62-852-8386-1704 |

SBMI: Dina Nuriyati | +62-81398358476 |

DPC SBMI Cirebon: Nurohman Normandika | +62-852-2418-6688 |

WCC Mawar Balqis: Sa’adah | +62-853-2303-3232 |