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Press Release :Komnas Perempuan Supports the Approval of the Ratification of the 1990 Migrant Convention as the Basis for the Protection of Migrant Workers

“By ratifying the 1990 UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (the Migrant Workers Convention), the Indonesian government will have a basic standard for the protection of the rights of migrant workers. This convention should also open up new perspectives for migrant workers so that they are not merely seen as labour entities but as human beings with dignity, including members of their family,” said Agustinus Supriyanto, Commissioner of Komnas Perempuan.

Komnas Perempuan hopes that the plenary meeting of the Indonesian House of Representatives to be held on 12 April 2012 will ratify the Migrant Workers Convention. The plan to ratify the convention has been a struggle for migrant worker organisations who received support from various parties over the last 8 years since the Indonesian government signed the convention on 22 September 2004.

Although the ratification of the Migrant Workers Convention will not necessarily create better conditions and protection for migrant workers, this convention will become the basic standard for the fulfilment and protection of the rights of migrant workers which will be contained in various regulations and legislation related to migrant workers in Indonesia.

With the ratification of the Migrant Workers Convention, Komnas Perempuan notes at least 6 benefits to Indonesia including:

  1. It will set the standard of protection afforded to migrant workers and members of their families at each phase of migration (pre-departure, during work and after work), for all migration statuses (regular/documented and irregular/undocumented), and for all migration areas (region of origin, transit and destination);
  2. It will become an important foundation for the regulation of the labour migration system within the national legal system which protects the human rights of migrant workers and members of their families, one of which is the proposed amendment of Law 39/2004 regarding the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers Abroad currently being debated in parliament;
  3. It will become the primary reference point for the formation of bilateral and multilateral agreements relating to labour migration;
  4. It will help prevent unsafe migration and human trafficking as from the outset the convention sets out and ensures safe migration procedures;
  5. It will increase the government’s diplomatic bargaining power to demand maximum protection for migrant worker from recipient countries;
  6. It will guarantee the equality of normative rights between local and migrant workers. These basic rights include the right to equal pay between local and migrant workers. Currently, foreign workers receive higher wages than local workers. Other rights include: political rights (forming a union, choosing to be or not to be a union member, strikes); medical rights (occupational health and safety); and social rights (matrimonial leave, public holidays, etc).

Contact people:

  • Yuniyanti Chuzaifah, Commissioner, Chairperson (081311130330),
  • Agustinus Supriyanto, Commissioner, Head of the Task Force on Migrant Workers (08179423492).
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