Our Thematic Areas
Improving Conditions for Women’s Overseas Labour Migration
Why this issue is important
Based on data from the Agency for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (BNP2TKI), there were 10 million Indonesian citizens, around 60% women, working overseas as migrant workers in 2017. Remittances from migrant workers supports left behind families and contributes to the national economy.
However, migrant workers, especially women, are vulnerable to illegal recruitment, human trafficking, long working hours, low wages, extortion, violence and sexual harassment. Village recruitment practices and difficulty accessing accurate information results in low awareness of legal rights, risks and protections.
Supporting migrant workers is in accordance with national development targets (RPJMN 2015-2019), Nawa Cita and Goal 8 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to protect workers’ rights and develop a safe working conditions especially for women migrant workers.
Migrant CARE and it network of local partners work to improve the outcomes for migrant workers and their families before, during and after migration. With the support of MAMPU, Migrant CARE has been able to expand its network and evidence-based advocacy to increase the protections of migrant workers from the grassroots to the national level.
One of Migrant CARE initiatives at the village level, Village Cares for Migrant Workers (DESBUMI) has empowered women through migrant worker groups. Migrant workers can access assistance through: pre-departure training, document handling, case handling, financial literacy, and access to government programs for alternative employment for return migrants.
DESBUMI works closely with local government in data collection, case handling and developing village information systems, and is now active in 36 villages. Through group membership, migrant workers have closer contact with local authorities, enabling them to voice their aspirations to influence changes in the village.
Advocacy for a new law on the Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers was passed by Indonesia’s national parliament in 2017 (No. 18/2017).