21November2017

Home Editorial President Joko Widodo wants the revision of law on migrant workers protection to be immediately completed

President Joko Widodo wants the revision of law on migrant workers protection to be immediately completed

Sometime ago, President Joko Widodo asked the National Agency for Placement and Protection of Indonesian Workers -BNP2TKI to soon complete the revision of the laws on the protection of Indonesian migrant workers -TKI. In the future, the model of services must be unified and integrated, so that anyone who wants to work abroad can access the service easily and have their data recorded.

So far, the Law number 39/2004, which contains the protection and placement of Indonesian workers overseas, has not effectively protected them. There are still many Indonesian migrant workers involved in criminal cases, even facing the death penalty abroad. Though the law has set the placement and protection of migrant workers, apparently it is still on the placement mechanism only, and does not lead to their protection.

Indeed, the protection on the Indonesian migrant workers can be realized with the efforts of political advocacy, especially when there are death penalty sentences to them. It is time for the government to further improve its role. If the government has established good bilateral relations with the countries of destination of the migrant workers, many problems can be solved. Take for example when President Joko Widodo visited Saudi Arabia in 2015. At that time, some of those workers, who were involved in criminal cases and threatened the death penalty, could be sought forgiveness through diplomatic channels in bilateral talks with King Salman.

In addition, other important elements  are regarding with the legality of the departure of migrant workers who often have problems and have not received a maximum supervision.

The problems mentioned above have become the basis of President Joko Widodo’s unrest in terms of addressing the workers, the regulation and the implementation in the field.

Many things must be improved, especially in terms of human resources. The workers must have skills and knowledge, especially legal knowledge in the countries concerned. Their innocence could only be exploited by employers who incidentally have a bad temper. Without any protection, the workers are often cornered on the issue of penalties and fines. The government will face problems in defending the workers who do not care about their legality.

Hopefully, after the revision of the laws on the protection of Indonesian migrant workers (TKI) is completed, various problems can be solved. The Indonesian migrant workers deserve being protected since leaving and arriving at their homeland. They as ‘the foreign exchange heroes’ are feasible, even obligatory with protection. (ANM)

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