JAKARTA (ILO News): Indonesian women migrant workers, a majority of whom work as domestic workers, are particularly vulnerable to gender based violence and to HIV and AIDS throughout the entire course of the migratory cycle. Gender based violence stands out as one of the main violations faced by women migrant workers and poses a direct risk to them of HIV infection.
The Association of Hospital and Medical Centre for Indonesian Manpower (HIPTEK) has reported 174 HIV cases among 162,000 prospective migrant workers tested at ten health centres in 2010. A report from Caring for Migrant Workers, an NGO dealing with the health issues of deported migrant workers from Malaysia, revealed that during 2010 they had taken care of more than 50 AIDS cases of deported Indonesian migrant workers. The report shows evidence that HIV and AIDS for Indonesian migrant workers should be addressed with the high priority necessitated by these data.
Although the Government of Indonesia has issued a number of regulations concerning migrant workers and gender mainstreaming, significant challenges still hamper the development of effective policy and regulatory frameworks for the protection of migrant workers against gender based violence and HIV and AIDS. These challenges include the lack of capacity of government and non-governmental institutions, weak coordination among government institutions, a lack of public-civil society partnership, and a lack of gender-disaggregated data and policy assessments.
To strengthen the commitment of relevant stakeholders and to ensure their active involvement, the International Labour Organization (ILO), in collaboration with the National AIDS Commission (NAC), will conduct a national stakeholder workshop, “Protecting Indonesian Migrant Workers and Their Families against Gender Based Violence and HIV and AIDS Vulnerabilities”, on Tuesday, 19 July, at Sari Pan Pacific Hotel, Jakarta. The workshop is conducted by the ILO under a joint project with UNDP, funded by the UNAIDS PAF Fund The workshop will be officially opened by the Coordinating Minister of Social Welfare, HE. Agung Laksono, the Minister of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection, HE. Linda Amalia Gumelar and Director of ILO in Indonesia, Peter van Rooij.
The national stakeholder workshop aims to provide an opportunity to strengthen collaboration among relevant stakeholders towards a more integrated approach to better protect migrant workers from gender based violence and HIV vulnerabilities. The workshop also aims to examine the existing regulations and programmes for migrant workers, in order to generate policy recommendations for strengthening the protection of migrant workers and their families.
“Migration and mobility by themselves do not inevitably lead to increased susceptibility among migrant workers. However, the conditions under which they migrate, and notably the gender based violence, discrimination, exploitation and abuse to which they are exposed, render them more vulnerable to contracting HIV. Thus, a comprehensive approach to Indonesian migrant workers’ protection is needed to improve the access to information and health services for migrant workers,” said Peter van Rooij, Director of ILO in Indonesia, adding that through dialogue and exchange of experience, it is hoped that the future cooperation among relevant stakeholders will be improved and strengthened.
Reviews of regulations, particularly regulations concerning the protection of migrant workers from gender based violence and HIV vulnerabilities, will be conducted by Ida Suselo Wulan, Deputy for Gender Mainstreaming on Health, Politics and Law of the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection, as well as Zulmiyar Yanri, Member of Parliament and of Commission IX. In addition, the mandated ministries will review the existing HIV and AIDS Action Programme for Indonesian Migrant Workers. Representatives from the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and BNP2TKI will join forces in developing an action plan and formulate required policies and programmes for each institution.
In addition, a series of information kits will furthermore be launched at the workshop. The kits are developed based on direct input from prospective migrant workers. These easy-to-read materials with pictures provide basic knowledge and information on safe migration and HIV and AIDS vulnerabilities for migrant workers.
The workshop will be attended by around 70 representatives from governments, trade unions, employers’ organizations, academia, civil society and mass media.
For further information please contact:
Chief Technical Adviser of ILO’s Migrant Workers Project
Tel. +6221 3913112 ext. 130
Risya Ariani Kori
Programme Officer for HIV and AIDS
Tel. +6221 3913112 ext. 202
Media Relations Officer
Tel.: +6221 3913112 ext. 115