Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's endeavors to protect its citizens abroad should encompass comprehensive and holistic cooperation among stakeholders within and outside the country, Foreign Ministry's Director for the Protection of Citizens and Legal Entities Judha Nugraha stated.

Solid collaboration among stakeholders is needed, as protection efforts not only entail the handling of reported cases but are also related to the preventive aspect, Nugraha remarked here on Friday evening.

To this end, the government's focus would no longer be on merely resolving the reported cases, he told journalists after attending the 2023 Hassan Wirajuda Indonesian Protection Award event.

A comprehensive and holistic approach should also be applied in citizen protection-related cases from the upstream to downstream levels, according to Nugraha.

The solid foundation of collaboration among stakeholders within and outside Indonesia has become increasingly important, as the number of cases of troubled Indonesians in foreign countries tends to increase, he emphasized.

In 2023 alone, the Foreign Ministry had recorded 53,598 cases. This figure showed a significant increase as compared to 35,149 cases in 2022, he stated.

To protect Indonesian citizens from falling victim to human traffickers who recruit them to be employed in overseas online scam operations, the Foreign Ministry has collaborated with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Indonesia, he remarked.

The ministry and IOM Indonesia have made a short film about the dangers of online employment scams for job seekers, he stated.

"We also work with the Communication and Informatics Ministry to disseminate information on the dangers of job scams that may exploit our citizens abroad through the publication of short public service advertisements," he noted.

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At the multilateral level, he further highlighted that the Indonesian Foreign Ministry continues to push partner countries and institutions for an ongoing fight against transnational crimes, including online scams.

During its ASEAN presidency, Indonesia successfully pushed ASEAN leaders to make a declaration on combating trafficking in persons caused by the abuse of technology in May 2023, he stated.

Indonesia has also inked bilateral agreements on the fight against transnational crimes with several countries, including Cambodia, Nugraha remarked.

He had earlier recorded an increasing trend of online scam-related cases involving Indonesian citizens over the past few years.

The total case count, recorded from 2020 to March 2024, stood at 3,704.

Some 1,114 of the recorded cases occurred in Cambodia, while the remaining 2,590 cases were found in countries, such as Myanmar, the Philippines, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the United Arab Emirates, he pointed out.

Due to this rising trend, Nugraha spoke of having relentlessly appealed to Indonesians to remain cautious about fraud in overseas job offers circulated on social media platforms.

He suggested that they doubly check the credibility of companies offering the jobs.

Aspirants should also ensure the jobs obtained after meeting all of the Indonesian Government's procedures and working visas issued by the embassies of countries of destination in Jakarta, he stated.

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Translator: Nabil Ihsan, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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