Safe migration corridor needed to protect Indonesian workers: Marsudi

Safe migration corridor needed to protect Indonesian workers: Marsudi

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi. (Handout/ Presidential Secretariat Press Bureau)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has highlighted the importance of building a safe migration corridor for workers in light of repeated cases of Malaysian employers abusing Indonesian maids.

At the same time, Marsudi told journalists here on Thursday, the negotiation for the Memorandum of Understanding on Placement and Protection of Indonesian Domestic Workers in Malaysia that expired in 2016 needs to be completed soon.

The negotiation on the MoU needs to be completed without delay to make sure that full protection can be accorded to Indonesian migrant workers right from the time of their departure, during their stay in Malaysia, and when they return to Indonesia, she said.

The absence of the MoU has weakened the Indonesian domestic workers' bargaining position because they have no wage guarantee, fixed working hours, health insurance, or legal protection, Marsudi said.

The negotiation for the MoU is being led by the Indonesian Workforce Ministry, but the Foreign Ministry is also playing a direct role in the process, she informed.

In July this year, director general of protocol and consular affairs at the Indonesian Foreign Ministry, Andy Rachmianto, had revealed that the Malaysian government had forwarded the draft MoU to Indonesia and was awaiting a counter draft from Indonesia.

On November 27, 2020, the alleged abuse of an Indonesian maid, identified by her initials as MH, by her Malaysian employer in Kuala Lumpur had come to light.

From the beginning, the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur has coordinated with Tenaganita, a Malaysian human rights NGO, and the Malaysian police to protect MH from her employer, Marsudi said.

Following her rescue, the Indonesian government has been monitoring the health of MH, who is currently being treated at a hospital in Kuala Lumpur, she added. Her health is reportedly improving, she continued.

The government has also contacted MH’s family in Indonesia, Marsudi said. The Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur has also pledged to help MH make a phone call to her family in Indonesia, she added.

Following the case, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry had summoned the Malaysian ambassador in Jakarta to express Indonesia's strong condemnation of repeated cases of Malaysian employers abusing Indonesian maids.

The Foreign Ministry also assigned the Indonesian Embassy's lawyer on retainer to monitor the Malaysian authorities' law enforcement process against MH's employer, Marsudi added. (INE)

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