Monitor Indonesia-South Korea agreement on migrant workers: Ministry

The Manpower Ministry expects Ambassador of Indonesia to Korea to monitor the cooperation on migrant workers' placement and protection forged between the Indonesian and South Korean governments.

Suhartono, the director general of manpower placement, development, and employment opportunities at the Manpower Ministry, stated that the Indonesian and South Korean governments already had two documents -- the Employment Permit System memorandum of understanding (MoU) and the MoU related to the protection of ship crews -- detailing the cooperation in workers' placement.

Indonesia and South Korea had been negotiating on the renewal of the Employment Permit System MoU since 2015, and it had shown positive progress, he said during a meeting with Indonesian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to South Korea Gandi Sulistiyanto in Seoul on Monday.

However, some matters still had to be resolved with the South Korean administration.

"Therefore, we request the assistance of the ambassador and his administration to be able to encourage the South Korean (administration) to immediately sit down with us to (pursue) the completion of the EPS MoU," Suhartono said while accompanying members of the Commission IX at the House of Representatives in a working visit to Seoul.

He pointed out that the EPS MoU allowed Indonesian workers to partake in the five sectors of -- manufacturing, construction, services, fisheries, and agriculture -- that were included in the E-9 Visa category.

However, currently, Indonesia could only send workers to South Korea to work in the manufacturing and fisheries sectors.

"For this reason, we urge the ambassador to work with us to encourage the South Korean government to (make all sectors listed) in EPS (available), especially the agricultural sector, considering that the demand in this sector is quite (high)," he remarked.

He also expects that the ambassador will be able to push for the placement of private to private shipbuilding welders, who are skilled workers under the E-7 Visa as well as placement of crew members under the E-10 visa.

The MoU on the Protection of Ship Crew covers the management of recruitment, placement, and protection of Indonesian ship crews working on ships sailing in South Korea's waters.

Suhartono noted that the ministry had urged the ambassador to assist in monitoring the implementation of the MoU, so that it can provide optimal protection for these crews.

Source: Antara News