The government will allow the dispatch of domestic helpers only to certain countries, namely Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, a Manpower and Transmigration Ministry official said.
“The Manpower and Transmigration Ministry has conducted a comprehensive evaluation of countries as destinations of Indonesian domestic helpers. Based on the results of the evaluation, we have come to the conclusion that only four countries can be categorised as destinations of Indonesian domestic helpers,” director-general of labour placement Reyna Usman was quoted by Antara news agency as saying yesterday.
The plan to limit the number of destination countries was made after the ministry had studied the destination countries’ policies on the protection of Indonesian migrant workers and the fulfillment of their normative rights, Reyna said.
The government would not allow the dispatch of domestic helpers to countries which did not meet the specified conditions and criteria, he said.
“The government prioritises the dispatch of migrant workers particularly domestic helpers to certain countries which are strongly committed to improving the protection of migrant workers,” he said.
Compared to other destination countries, Hong Kong and Taiwan had better policies and rules to protect migrant workers, he said.
“The number of violent acts against Indonesian migrant workers in the two countries is getting lower. The problems facing Indonesian migrant workers there mostly deal with work contracts, underpaid salaries, delinquent labour placement agencies and so on,” he said.
Malaysia was the largest destination of Indonesian domestic helpers because of linguistic and cultural similarities, he said.
Where Malaysia was concerned, he said the government was planning to improve the quality of domestic helpers and tighten the selection of employers.
“The joint task force will seriously safeguard the MoU we have signed (with Malaysia). Both sides have agreed on the jointly formulated placement scheme to enable them to facilitate the placement of Indonesian migrant workers, particularly with regard to the protection of Indonesia migrant workers employed in Malaysia,” he said.
He said the negotiations with Saudi Arabia was very conducive and the Saudi government was quite responsive to constructive efforts proposed by Indonesia.
“Saudi Arabia is still the best destination among Middle Eastern countries. Our task is to reduce the number of problems, particularly violence,” he said.