JAKARTA (ILO News): According to a World Report on Disability (2011) published by The World Health Organization (WHO) and World Bank, there are roughly a billion people with disabilities in the world. Further, there are approximately 785 million of people with disabilities at their productive age, though the majority of them are unemployed. Those who are employed generally earn less compared with people who do not have disability and are often employed in the informal economy with minimal or no social protection.
Data from the International Labour Organization (ILO) indicates that 10 percent of the Indonesian population or 24 million people live with disabilities in Indonesia. However, the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration’s 2010 data indicates there are only 11 million people with disabilities employed.
In response to this situation, Better Work Indonesia (BWI) under the auspices of the ILO is conducting a pilot project which supports people with disabilities in securing employment in the garment sector. This pilot project is funded by the Government of Australia through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The purpose of the project is to improve access for people with disabilities to decent jobs by providing vocational training in collaboration with a private training center in Semarang, Griya Apac (Gripac).
This free-of charge training will take place for a two month period from September 1 – October 31, 2014. Training participants will be trained as sewing operators in accordance with garment industry standards. “BWI is confident that this pilot project will enhance the skills and ability of training participants in order for them to be ready to enter the job market, especially in the garment sector. Additionally, BWI believes that people with disabilities possess skills which are equally competitive in the job market provided they have access to equal opportunities,” said Simon Field, Chief Technical Advisor of BWI.
BWI consistently encourages the garment industry, representing the producers of international brands, to comply with ILO’s International Conventions and national laws and regulations. One of the regulations with which they have to comply is Law No. 4 of 1997, associated with people with disabilities. Paragraph 14 states that employers are under obligation to employ at least 1 person with disability for every 100 people employed in the company; paragraph 28 states that failure to comply will lead to a USD 20,000 fine.
During the sewing operator training, international garment companies with established partnerships with BWI will visit the training center to provide opportunities for the trainees to work at their factories. “There are plenty of garment companies that encounter difficulties in identifying workers with disabilities who have sound sewing skills. On the other hand, there are plenty of people with disabilities who are unaware of the job opportunities in the garment industry,” explained Angela Friska, BWI Consultant for Disability Inclusion Programme.
People with disabilities often encounter challenges not faced by the general public because of poor access to public facilities. Inability to secure a job is an example of a difficulty in the daily life of a person with disability. They have the right to secure a job, live independently, and find opportunities for self-development. Excluding the disabled from the job market leads to public loss. The ILO estimates that the loss endured by the economy ranges between 1 to 7 percent of the gross domestic product.
Mohamad Anis Nugroho, the Senior Enterprise Advisor of BWI also added that BWI consistently encourages the garment industry, representing the producers of international brands, to comply with ILO’s International Conventions and national laws and regulations. One of the regulations with which they have to comply is Law No. 4 of 1997, associated with people with disabilities. Paragraph 14 states that employers are under obligation to employ at least 1 person with disability for every 100 people employed in the company; paragraph 28 states that failure to comply will lead to a USD 20,000 fine.
Better Work is a unique collaboration program between the ILO and International Finance Corporation (IFC). Better Work Indonesia is funded by the Government of Australia through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). Better Work Indonesia (BWI) is part of the Better Work Global Program, the purpose of which is to enhance compliance with manpower standards and improve competitiveness in the apparel industry through advocacy and training for factories, tailored to the needs of each factory.
The BWI Program started in 2011 and focuses on Jabodetabek region, including Purwakarta, Subang, and Karawang in West Java, as well as Central Java. Currently, there are 98 garment companies registered under BWI and there are more than 200 factories which are aware of the program’s existence in Indonesia. BWI has entered Phase 2 of program implementation and expanded its operational coverage both in West Java and Central Java.
In order to learn more about BWI, please visit:
For more information, please contact:
Ms Josephine Imelda
Knowledge Management & Communication Officer, Better Work Indonesia
Tel. +6221-391 3112 ext 193