Better protecting Indonesian migrant workers through bilateral and multilateral agreements

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.

Press release | Jakarta, Indonesia | 08 May 2013

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 2012, 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 7 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 an interactive talkshow titled “Optimizing the Protection of Migrant Workers through Bilateral and Multilateral Agreements” on Wednesday, 8 May 2013, at FX Lifestyle X’nter in Jakarta.

The talkshow also marks the launch of the ILO’s latest publication on labour migration titled ”10 Years of Work on Labour Migration in Indonesia.” The publication highlights the ILO’s support and actions on labour migration in the country, ranging from policy development, capacity building to migrant workers empowerment and awareness raising.

The talkshow will present Roostiawati (Director of Abroad Placement, Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration), Yuni Chizaifah (Head of Komnas Perempuan), Anis Hidayah (Executive Director of Migrant Care) and Albert Y. Bonasahat (the ILO’s Project Coordinator on Migrant Workers). In addition, the talkshow will be live broadcasted in Jakarta and Medan.

The talkshow aims to raise awareness about the plight of Indonesian migrant workers and to stimulate an interactive discussion by participants on the important role of billateral and multilateral agreements as instruments to better protect Indonesian migrant workers in the destination countries. The talkshow also aims to discuss the importance of the ratification of relevant international conventions on migrant workers as part of the effort to strengthen the protection of migrant workers and their families.

For further information please contact:

Mr Albert Y. Bonasahat, the ILO’s Programme Coordinator on Migrant Workers, Tel.: +6221 3913112 ext. 125, Email

Ms Gita Lingga, Media Officer, Tel.: +6221 3913112 ext. 115, Mobile: +62815884833, Email