Missing valid data on migrant workers hinders protection management

The non-existence of valid single data on migrant workers has hindered the management of protection of Indonesian crew members on foreign ships, according to the Indonesian Migrant Workers Protection Agency (BP2MI).

“I have to admit that the absence of valid single data on the number of ship crew members as well as migrant workers in other sectors posed an obstacle for the Indonesian government. How can we protect them if we do not have the exact number,” BP2MI Head Benny Rhamdani remarked here during a webinar on protection for Indonesian crew of foreign ships on Wednesday.

Rhamdani noted that Indonesian workers, including ship crew members, contributed notably to the country’s foreign exchange income, with remittances by migrant workers reaching Rp158.9 trillion annually.

“That would constitute some seven percent of the total state budget,” he stated.

Echoing the same opinion, CEO of Indonesia Ocean Justice Initiative (IOJI) Mas Achmad Santosa highlighted issues pertaining to data in the placement and protection of Indonesian crew members of foreign ships.

“It necessitates the creation of an integrated database on ship crew members,” Santosa affirmed.

Other areas of concern are the duplication of authority in the recruitment and placement of ship crew members, ineffective monitoring and law enforcement against perpetrators of human trafficking and human rights abuse against ship crew members, and dismal understanding on the rights of migrant ship crew members.

“Law No. 18 of 2017 on Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers, including ship crews, would need an implementing regulation to elaborate further the form of protection before, during, and after works, as well as legal, economic, and social protection,” he stated.

Manpower Minister Ida Fauziyah remarked that Indonesian crew members employed in foreign ships are migrant workers that should be protected by the state in accordance with Law No. 18 of 2017.

“The rights of Indonesian ship crews as well as other migrant workers and their families is protected by the law. However, we have to admit that in the context of slavery at sea, we still see several violations of the rights of migrant workers,” the minister affirmed.

 

Source: Antara News

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