HIV/AIDS case in Indonesia is growing fast. The Ministry of Health reported the cumulative AIDS case up to Dec 2010 is 24.131 cases. Even though there is no comprehensive reported data available on HIV and AIDS cases among migrant workers, HIV and AIDS cases are increasing. As reported by Caring for Migrant Workers, 50 cases of AIDS cases from deported migrant workers have been handled in 2010.
Migration its self is not a risk factor to HIV, the unsafe conditions under which people migrate and work tend to make migrants vulnerable or put them at risk. Separated from families, communities and social support systems, migrants and mobile populations are more likely to be exploited and victimized, or engage in risk behaviour that can result in HIV infection. Unsafe migration which caused by lack of protection afforded to migrant workers during the course of the migratory cycle, as a consequence, migrant workers are often subjected to multiple violations that occur in the context of the recruitment procedures, precarious employment abroad as well as upon return to their countries of origin. Exploitation, discrimination and abuse, combined with low awareness of HIV/AIDS among migrant workers put migrant workers under increased risk of becoming infected.
Stigma and discrimination is still the main issue in returning HIV-positive migrants to the home village. The assistance for returning HIV-positive migrants to reintegrate in their countries of origin is extremely lacking. Upon return migrant workers are usually neither referred to medical services nor counselling, the result being delayed treatment and the potential of unknowingly infecting others.
International commitments on Rights for Migrant Workers, Health and HIV/AIDS have been addressed to protect migrant workers from HIV/AIDS. ILO recommendation no 200 stated that migrant workers as one of target group that should be concerning for the VCT, care and support both in home country and destination countries. The ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers and the families recognizes migrant workers as a vulnerable group whose rights require protection, the latter identifies the need to provide prevention and treatment for such vulnerable groups battling HIV/AIDS related stigma and discrimination from departing, placement until the returning process.
The Indonesia Government has issued the Ministerial Agreement among Ministry of Social Welfare, Ministry of Home Affair and Ministry of Health in handling the health problem among returning or deported migrant workers. The coordination is aimed to ensure the deported migrant workers who have problem could be sent to their home village including how to handle sickness. AIDS is a part of health problem which also has been concerned in this regulation. However, the local community leaders take a significant role in responding the HIV-positive migrant workers. When HIV-positive migrant workers return to the village, the stigma and discrimination is still happened. The HIV-positive migrant workers avoid to go back home. This situation makes negative impact to the HIV-positive migrant workers as they do not have access to get better treatment.
Concerning the structural support by local and religious leaders on accepting the HIV-positive returning migrant worker a community-based training on HIV and Migration is important to be held in reducing the stigma and discrimination among returning HIV-positive migrant workers in community.
- To improve the awareness and knowledge on HIV/AIDS vulnerabilities in migration cycle for local communities/religious leaders;
- To reduce stigma and discrimination for migrant workers who living with HIV; and
- To improve the commitment of local /religious leaders in reducing stigma and discrimination among HIV-positive migrant workers.
- The knowledge on HIV, migration and non stigma discrimination improved;
- The commitment among local/religious leaders on improving the health access and education improved; and
- Action plan.