Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Migrant Workers Protection Agency (BP2MI) has urged job seekers aspiring to become migrant workers to utilize authorized recruitment to avoid human trafficking.

"Victims of human trafficking do not have work contracts. They are traded, exploited, and forced to work for up to 20 hours a day," said Benny Rhamdani, Head of BP2MI, on Thursday.

"However, if you choose authorized means to become a migrant worker, your role will be similar to that of an ambassador, and you will be sent overseas in a manner similar to that of an athlete or important figure," he added.

Rhamdani stressed that out of the nine million migrant workers abroad, only 4,727,382 had gone through authorized channels and were registered in their system, while the rest had resorted to illegal means.

He reminded people not to believe hoaxes that are circulating in cyberspace to avoid falling victims to human trafficking schemes.

Rhamdani also stated that human trafficking persists due to the involvement of irresponsible individuals in positions of authority.

"Even individuals in the military, police, and government are involved in human trafficking. Therefore, I consistently emphasize that firm action should be taken against them," he remarked.

He mentioned receiving a mandate from President Joko Widodo to protect migrant workers, as they were previously extorted, exploited, and deceived by individuals engaged in illegal activities upon their return to Indonesia.

Rhamdani initiated a transformation to change people's perceptions of migrant workers.

He noted that if individuals choose the legal pathway to become migrant workers, they will receive higher wages, and their well-being will be safeguarded through work and health insurance.

Rhamdani affirmed that nowadays, migrant workers are issued a credential letter in English, Indonesian, and the language of the destination country, which is provided by the state.

"In the past, only ambassadors could obtain it, but now, migrant workers can obtain a credential letter. Once they have the credential letter, migrant workers automatically receive economic, social, and legal protection," he explained.

He mentioned that prospective migrant workers can access KUR facilities, a government-backed loan program, from banks collaborating with BP2MI.

"In the past, they used to pawn their belongings and sell family land to finance their journey abroad. Now, there is a KUR with a limit of up to IDR 100 million (around US$ 6,700) to assist them in covering expenses such as passports, medical tests, visas, job training, and tickets," he stated.

Rhamdani urged those aspiring to work overseas to change their mindset and take advantage of the abundant employment opportunities.

"Don't worry because you will be prepared as a truly competent individual with six months of training, and you will represent the state as an ambassador," he concluded.

He also mentioned that subsidized housing will be made available to migrant workers starting in 2023.

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Translator: Lintang Budiyanti P, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Anton Santoso
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