The long journey of justice for Indonesian migrant workers
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.
JAKARTA (ILO News): Growing numbers of Indonesian women and men continue to opt for overseas labour migration as the best way of securing an adequate income for their families and escaping poverty. However, the social and economic costs of migration to the workers and their families are many, but are often poorly understood and documented.
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 2.4 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, “The Long Journey of Justice for Indonesian Migrant Workers” on Wednesday, 5 October, at Galeri Cipta III, Taman Ismail Marzuki, Jakarta.
The talkshow will present Reyna Usman (Director General of Manpower Placement and Empowerment, Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration), Muhammad Ansor (Director of Human Rights, Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Okky Asokawati (Parliament Member of Commission IX) and Anis Hidayah (Director of Migrant Care).
This talkshow is held in conjunction with the launch of the ILO’s photo essay on migrant workers titled “The Long Road Home: Journeys of Indonesian Migrant Workers” that was held on 29 September 2011 and the photo exhibition under the same title that are being held from 2 – 5 October. The talkshow will also mark the closing of the photo exhibition.
The talkshow aims to raise awareness about the plight of Indonesian domestic migrant workers in Indonesia and to stimulate an interactive discussion by participants on the importance of the ratification of the international instruments on migrant workers to provide better protection to the Indonesian migrant workers. The talkshow will also be live relayed in four cities: Jakarta, Medan, Semarang and Makassar.
The talkshow is 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.
For further information please contact:
Albert Y. Bonasahat
ILO’s Programme Coordinator
Tel.: +6221 3913112 ext. 125
Tel.: +6221 3913112 ext. 115