Govt to repatriate 116 migrant workers from Syria

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government is to repatriate 116 migrant workers from Syria because of tense political and security situations in the country, a spokesman said.

They will be repatriated in six batches, with the first batch expected to arrive at Soekarno-Hatta airport on Thursday night, chief of the National Agency for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (BNP2TKI) Moh Jumhur Hidayat said on Thursday.

"For the time being, we have targeted to repatriate around 1,000 Indonesian citizens, including migrant workers and students," he said.

Earlier, the Indonesian foreign ministry in cooperation with BNP2TKI repatriated a total of 85 migrant workers in five batches. Seven of them were repatriated on February 3, 18 on February 16, 21 on February 29, 21 on March 19, and 18 on March 30.

The migrant workers who were mostly employed as domestic helpers came from West Java, Central Java, West Nusa Tenggara and Lampung provinces.

Jumhur said all the expenses arising from the repatriation of the migrant workers from Syria to Indonesia were borne by the foreign ministry, while BNP2TKI only bore the transportation cost from the airport to their hometowns.

According to data from the BNP2TKI`s Research and Information Development Center released this year, 11,760 Indonesian migrant workers were employed in Syria consisting of 201 employed in the formal sector and 11,559 in the informal sector.

The government decided on August 9 last year to temporarily suspend the dispatch of migrant workers to Syria, citing poor protection of migrant workers in the country. (*)



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