Saturday, 30th August 2014

ILO encourages RI to better protect its migrant workers

Kamis, 9 Mei 2013 09:39 WIB | 1.169 Views
ILO encourages RI to better protect its  migrant workers
Illustration. Indonesian workers celebrated Migrant Worker Day in Jakarta. (ANTARA/Rosa Panggabean)
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The International Labor Organization (ILO) is encouraging the Indonesian government to make an optimum use of bilateral and multilateral agreements to better protect its migrant workers abroad.

"In the past two decades, Indonesia has become one of the world`s biggest migrant worker suppliers. Therefore, migrant workers are important part of the Indonesian manpower that the government must protect by among others benefiting from bilateral and multilateral agreements," ILO Deputy Director for Indonesia Michiko Miyamoto said here on Wednesday.

As the world`s second largest migrant worker supplier, Indonesia every year sends around 700 thousand migrant workers abroad, particularly to East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Nearly 78 percent of the migrant workers are employed as domestic helpers, she said.

"Although the migrant domestic helpers are Indonesia`s second foreign exchange earner, many of these "foreign exchange heroes" suffer from exploitation and torture during migration process, both in Indonesia and abroad," she said.

According to her, ILO will continue to campaign for the protection of migrant workers.

To protect its migrant workers abroad, she said Indonesia can refer to the ILO document on multilateral framework on labour migration non-binding principles and guidelines for a rights-based approach to labour migration.

Meanwhile, ILO Program Coordinator on Migrant Workers Albert Y. Bonasahat expressed hope that the governments of all ILO member states including Indonesia will be able to develop a mechanism to monitor their citizens employed as migrant workers abroad.

"We hope the Indonesian government will also continue its efforts to develop a mechanism of protecting its migrant workers," he said.

It is sometimes difficult to monitor migrant workers since most of them are employed at private residences as domestic helpers, he said.

After all, the government must ensure that they are protected and receive their rights, he said.(*)