UN Convention on workers could strengthen RI position

19 March, 2012 | Source: The Jakarta Post

Ratifying the United Nations (UN) Convention on International Migrant Workers will put Indonesia in a much stronger position when it comes to negotiating agreements to protect and promote the rights of its migrant workers in other countries, an activist says.

Migrant Care executive director Anis Hidayah said that other countries that had ratified the convention, adopted by the UN in 1990, had succeeded in protecting the rights of their workers and
families.

“Countries that have ratified the convention, such as the Philippines, have a much stronger bargaining position in negotiating regulations on workers dispatched to other countries. They will be more open in negotiating and reaching agreements to protect the workers,” she said in a discussion on plans for the ratification of the UN Convention on International Migrant Workers and revision of Law No. 39/2004 on Migrant Workers.

Anis said the ratification of the convention could protect Indonesia’s migrant workers although its negotiating partners, such as the Saudi Arabia, had not yet ratified the convention.

“It still matters. Remember that we have mechanisms in the UN through which we submit annual reports on the protection and promotion of the rights of our migrant workers. Once we face problems, we can ask for support from countries that have ratified the convention,” she said.

Data from the International Labor Organization (ILO) said that more than 700,000 workers went overseas to find jobs every year. More than 78 percent of them work as domestic workers.

About 4.3 million Indonesians were estimated to work abroad in 2009.

Remittance sent by Indonesian migrant workers reached US$6 billion annually, placing it as the second-largest contributor to the country’s foreign exchange income. Despite their huge contribution to the national economy, many migrant workers still suffer from exploitation and abuse both within the country and abroad.

Indonesia has ratified six main human rights conventions and the 1990 UN convention on migrant workers is the last convention on human rights it should ratify. The convention sets principles on global migrations which are safe and in line with human rights standards.

The Presidential Mandate (Ampres) on the ratification of the UN convention on migrant workers was signed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Feb. 7.

Both the draft law and the academic paper were submitted to the House of Representatives on Feb. 9

“The next process is in the hands of the lawmakers. Some of them have indicated that they will discuss the bill in the next sitting session starting in May,” said Muhammad Anshor, director of human rights at the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

By ratifying the convention, he said, Indonesia could refer to the convention’s principles in negotiating arrangements of labor dispatch with receiving countries.

“We haven’t been able to refer to the convention as we haven’t ratified the convention,” he said.

Anis said Indonesia should see the ratification as the initial step to move forward with its plans to better protect and promote the rights of the country’s migrant workers.

“Ratification is not the end of everything,” she said.

 

 

The Indonesian government plans to issue savings sukuk (Islamic bonds), series ST007, to expand the base of retail investors in the domestic financial market and finance green projects in the state budget (APBN).
President Joko Widodo recently signed a regulation specifying the procurement and immunization schedule for the COVID-19 vaccine for Indonesia, which has been battling the deadly disease since March 2 this year.
President Joko Widodo on Wednesday said the coronavirus pandemic has reminded the nation and the state of the importance of science and technology.
Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi offered her condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims of the explosion that rocked Beirut in Lebanon on Tuesday evening.
Indonesia is working with South Korea to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus disease, in addition to collaborating with China.
Indonesia′s economy will start to open and recover from the COVID-19 crisis in August this year, the World Bank′s Country Director for Indonesia, Satu Kahkonen, stated on Thursday.
Address: 1068 Budapest, Városligeti fasor 26. | MAP |
Phone: (+36-1) 413 3800 Fax: (+36-1) 322 8669
E-mail: embassy@indonesianembassy.hu