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Press Release : Ratification of the 1990 Migrant Convention is the New Beginning of a Global Struggle to Protect Migrant Workers

Komnas Perempuan Commissioner Sri Nurherwati together with Rieke Diah Pitaloka (Indonesian Parliamentary Member), Anis Hidayah (Executive Director of Migrant Care) and several other labour activists during the press conference on the ratification of the 1990 Migrant Worker Convention.

The history of Indonesian labour migration has entered a new phase, after a long struggle of approximately 20 years and after 8 years since Indonesia signed the 1990 Migrant Convention in 2004. Finally on this day, 12 April 2012, Indonesia ratified the 1990 UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (the 1990 Migrant Convention). Komnas Perempuan appreciates all those who fought tirelessly to advocate for the Indonesian government to ratify the convention. The ratification of the Migrant Convention is the fruit of a long struggle by migrant workers, victims who sacrificed their lives, sweat and tears overseas, and women’s and human rights activists which began in 1993.

Nevertheless, this step forward in ratifying the 1990 Migrant Convention is not enough without concrete efforts to increase the protection and fulfilment of human rights of migrant workers. Coinciding with the discussion on the amendment of Law No. 39 of 2004 regarding the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers Abroad (the PPTKILN Act) which is currently being debated in parliament, surely the 1990 Migrant Workers Convention which has now been ratified should become the foundational point of reference for migrant worker rights which should be guaranteed in the amendments to the act. Furthermore, with the ratification of the 1990 Migrant Worker Convention, Indonesia’s bargaining position will be stronger in demanding migrant worker protection from recipient countries. Following the ratification of the 1990 Migrant Worker Convention, various bilateral policies and agreements related to migrant workers should refer to basic standards in the convention itself. The next step is that the government should prepare infrastructure support so that the convention can be implemented appropriately.

As such, Komnas Perempuan states the following position:

  1. Following the ratification of the 1990 Migrant Convention, the government must implement the contents of the convention in every regulation and policy related to migrant workers.
  2. Discussion on the amendments to the PPTKILN Act must refer to standards of protection and fulfilment of the rights of migrant workers as set out in the 1990 Migrant Convention.
  3. The amendments to the PPTKILN Act should be accompanied by the ratification of ILO Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers and the enactment of the Domestic Workers Bill as a regulation package on the protection of and guarantees to the rights of migrant workers and domestic workers both in Indonesia and abroad.

Contact People : Yuniyanti Chuzaifah (081311130330), Tumbu Saraswati (0816744832), Sri Nurherwati (085717003875), Agustinus Supriyanto (08179423492).

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