...we must optimize the protection of migrant workers because they make a significant contribution, especially in their respective countries.
Badung (ANTARA) - The Manpower Ministry discussed optimizing the supervision of incoming and outbound migrant workers with ASEAN countries as part of efforts to strengthen one of the national economic pillars, in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Tuesday.

At the 12th ASEAN Labor Inspection Conference, secretary general of the ministry, Anwar Sanusi, said that monitoring the whereabouts of migrant workers is important considering that 4.7 percent of global workers, or around 160 million migrants, come from the ASEAN region.

"Of course, we encourage that we must optimize the protection of migrant workers because they make a significant contribution, especially in their respective countries," he added.

According to Sanusi, apart from sending a high remittance or income to their country of origin, migrant workers also provide financial benefits for the welfare of their families and act as a catalyst in increasing their country's foreign exchange coffers.

For instance, Indonesian migrant workers send about Rp140 trillion every year, which is a very large sum and must be optimized to protect them, he expounded.

At the ASEAN level, labor inspection has become a collective agreement on the protection of migrant workers.

The 12th ASEAN Labor Inspection Conference is expected to be one of the instruments to ensure that this commitment, especially the commitment to protect the workers, is implemented optimally.

Sanusi said that every country has a social perspective as well as best practices that can be shared and exchanged among members, such as at the ASEAN level.

"I think our spirit of collaboration, the spirit of mutual cooperation is one of the commitments from the formation of ASEAN; we are in the same region, we have to strengthen fellow ASEAN countries, and we want to make ASEAN a region of economic and social growth and also political power," he added.

Sanusi said that at the latest forum, information and good supervisory practices were shared by representatives from ASEAN countries, ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Trade Union Council (ATUC), ASEAN Confederation of Employers (ACE), Alfa Project, International Organization for Migration (IOM), International Association of Labor Inspection (IALI), and International Labor Organization (ILO).

"After sharing, we can share with each other, we will be able to agree on what things we fundamentally want to have in common. For example, regarding data and information, the data we have is in the country of delivery, data in the country of placement," he added.

Translator: Rolandus Nampu, Cindy Frishanti Octavia
Editor: Jafar M Sidik
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