Urgent need for fair treatment of migrant workers

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) assessed the death of 21-year-old Adelina Sau, a migrant domestic worker in Malaysia from Abi Village, South Central Timur Sub-district of East Nusa Tenggara, as a form of abandonment of the right to live of migrant domestic workers.

Adelina died of indications of fatigue, anemia, lack of food intake, and inhuman torture by her employer. She was found helpless on the foyer of her employers house in Permai Town Park area, Bukti Mertajam, Penang, Malaysia.

Chairman of the Womens Migrant Working Group who is also Commissioner of Komnas Perempuan Imam Nahe stated in Jakarta on Tuesday that Adelinas death case is the impact of the weakness of state protection towards migrant domestic labour working in domestic spaces, as they are also vulnerable to human trafficking.

The data from the National Agency for Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (BNP2TKI) showed that during the year 2017 there had been a total of 217 cases of deaths of Indonesian migrant workers abroad.

"Of these, 69 cases (32 percent) occurred in Malaysia and Komnas Perempuan found that Adelinas death was the result of the lack of protection standards for Indonesian migrant domestic workers who need to receive comprehensive attention from both Indonesia and Malaysia," he said. .

Given the occurrence of this event, all parties should see that bilateral agreement regulations such as the MoU for existing formal sector workers long before 2016 and also the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding on the placement and protection of Indonesian migrant workers, particularly with regard to informal migrant workers, needs to be updated.

In November 2016, the Government of Indonesia has sent the latest draft of renewal to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which until now has not been responded by the Government of Malaysia.

In the multilateral region, the ASEAN is already in possession of the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children, ratified by the Government of Indonesia on 25 October 2017, and the ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers.

The Commission then questioned the follow-up of the implementation of the instrument in order to address the political problems and practices in the field directly related to migrant workers, one of which is the case of Adelina.

Meanwhile, Vice Chairman of Komnas Perempuan Commissioner Board Yuniyanti Chuzaifah said that Adelinas death shows the fragility of Indonesian migrant workers protection system, especially undocumented ones.

Furthermore, Director-General of the International Labour Organisation Guy Ryder stated that ensuring fair treatment for migrant workers in the world is in everyones interest.

In light of the World Day of Social Justice, the ILO is directing its focus on migrant workers, reaching 150 million across the globe, several of whom face exploitation, discrimination, and violence and lack even the most basic protection.

The ILOs written statement received by ANTARA in Jakarta, Tuesday, stated that such conditions are particularly true for women, who constitute 44 percent of the migrant workers.

"Migrant workers, like all workers, are entitled to fair treatment. It is also the key to preserving the social fabric of our societies and to sustainable development," Ryder remarked.

He believed that labor migration should be well-governed as well as fair and effective. It should also ensure that migrant workers, their families, and other communities avail the benefits and opportunities.

Once this is achieved, it would lead to a balance in the supply and demand of labor and concurrently help develop and transfer skills at all levels.

Additionally, it will contribute to social protection systems, foster business innovation, and enrich communities, both culturally and socially.

Thus, it should be in the interest of the global community to establish good and well-thought-out governance in the labor market, as it could lead to advancement in other sectors that could be beneficial for nations.

"Good governance will foster strong cooperation across migration corridors and regions," he remarked.

Source: ANTARA News

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