"The government must have the courage to conduct en mass evacuation of its migrant workers from Syria, like what the Philippines did. Although it is risky to conduct such a mission now," Wahyu Susilo, a policy analyst of Migrant Care said here on Friday.
The Indonesian migrant workers in Syria are not safe because the government has been too slow in handling the evacuation efforts following the armed conflicts in the Middle Eastern country, he said.
The fact that the government did not immediately evacuate all workers from Syria when the crisis began, it has indicated that the government is very slow, he added.
Around 7,000 Indonesian migrant workers are still in Syria, according to Migrant Care. The NGO urged Garuda Indonesia to help evacuate the workers from Syria during the recent hajj pilgrimage, but the call was ignored by Indonesia`s flag carrier, he said.
Until December 24 last year, the Indonesian government has returned 633 citizens from Syria.
The government has announced its plan to accelerate the repatriation of its citizens in Syria to Lebanon and later to Indonesia due to worsening situation in that country.
"The worsening security situation in Syria has made the government to immediately take its citizens out of Syria," the foreign ministry`s director of information and media, PLE Priatna, said here recently.
According to the ministry, the number of the citizens is at present recorded at more than 600 but it is predicted to increase further because of the situation.
Some 156 Indonesian citizens had arrived in Beirut on December 24 and 70 of them would be sent home on December 26 while 128 others could arrive from Syria on December 28. (*)