Jakarta: At least 4.5 million Indonesian migrant workers are not registered in the system owned by the government due to document forgery and the work of irresponsible parties, the Indonesian Migrant Workers Protection Agency (BP2MI) has said.
As per official SISKOP2MI (Computerized System for the Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers) data, the number of migrant workers registered under official placement stands at 4.5 million, BP2MI head Benny Rhamdani informed.
However, the World Bank has pegged the number of Indonesian workers employed overseas at nine million, he noted during an SOP launching and BP2MI MoU inking with partners event here on Tuesday.
He acknowledged that the condition is worrying since illegally placed workers often experience human trafficking, physical or sexual exploitation, unpaid wages, working time exploitation, one-sided termination, and death, which is frequent among ship crew.
Crew who experience abuse on a ship and die are often buried at sea to eliminate evidence. Several migrant workers have even come home with sickness, memory loss, depression, and improper clothing.
“In the 2020–October 31, 2022, period alone, there were 3,076 Indonesian migrant workers who were declared sick; 90 percent of them were crime victims and 80 percent were girls and women,” he informed.
During the same period, 1,477 corpses of Indonesian workers were repatriated. Ninety percent of them were crime victims and 80 percent were women.
Indonesian migrant workers have the right to proper treatment from all parties since they are among the five biggest contributors to the state’s foreign exchange: Indonesian migrant workers rank fourth with a contribution of up to Rp159.6 trillion.
Given their contribution, the state must provide proper migrant workers protection and improve their competence so that they can compete and be acknowledged by their employers in the placement countries.
To achieve this end, BP2MI is bolstering the protection of workers by eradicating syndicates that trade workers and issuing credential letters that contain the state’s request for the proper treatment of the workers to the governments of placement countries.
Other actions that the agency is carrying out include providing training and proper treatment through the provision of lounges, fast track services, ambulances, clinics, and easy financing facilitation at reasonable interest.
“They are excellent people, fighters who willingly leave their home and their families to achieve their beautiful dreams; and remember: We may not have the same courage as they have,” Rhamdani remarked.