JAKARTA (ILO News): As the second largest sending country, some 700,000 documented Indonesian migrant workers leave the country for work abroad, primarily in East and South East Asia as well as the Middle East. Of these, 78 per cent work as domestic workers. In 2009, around 4.3 million Indonesians were estimated to be working abroad. Even though Indonesian migrant workers are the second largest contributor to Indonesia’s foreign exchange incomes, amounting to about USD 6 billion annually, many of these “foreign exchange heroes” experience exploitation and abuse throughout the migration process, both in Indonesia and abroad.
As an effort to provide better protection and recognition to Indonesian migrant domestic workers, the International Labour Organization (ILO), in collaboration with SmartFM Network, a leading radio station in Jakarta, will organize a series of migrant workers forums that will be held every Tuesday for three weeks in March 2012. The Forums are aimed to raise the awareness of both public and targeted policy makers to comprehensively protect migrant workers through a national strategy of advocacy.
The first Forum, “Policy Development: Plan of Ratification of Relevant Conventions and the Revision of Law No. 3 of 2004 on Migrant Workers”, will be conducted on Tuesday, 13 March 2012, at Upper Room, Annex Building, Wisma Nusantara Complex, Jakarta. The goal of this Forum is to discuss the importance of the ratification of relevant international conventions on migrant workers to generate policy recommendations and developments for strengthening the protection of migrant workers and their families. The Forum is also aimed to examine the revisions of the Law No. 3 of 2004 for the development of better policy frameworks and migration placement system for Indonesian migrant workers.
The Forum will be divided into two sessions. The first session will highlight the importance of relevant international conventions, presented by the representatives from relevant ministries and institutions such as the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Indonesian Parliament, and Migrant Care. The second session will examine debates on the revisions of the Law No. 3 of 2004, urging the need for the Indonesian Government to provide effective protection measures for migrant workers throughout the migration process.
The Forums are conducted by the ILO through its Combating Forced Labour and Trafficking of Indonesian Migrant Workers Project. Funded by the Government of Norway, the Project aims to strengthen the protection of migrant workers against trafficking and forced labour practices as well as empower them financially to provide financial alternatives to hazardous overseas labour conditions and migration practices. The second and the third forums will be conducted on 20 and 27 March 2012, raising issues on economic empowerment of Indonesian migrant workers and the vulnerabilities of migrant workers to HIV and AIDS, respectively.
The workshop will be attended by around 75 representatives from Government, trade unions, employers’ organizations, academia, civil society and mass media.
For further information please contact:
Albert Y. Bonasahat
The ILO’s Programme Coordinator on Migrant Workers
Tel.: +6221 3913112 ext. 125
Tel.: +6221 3913112 ext. 115