New Program to Help Women and Children Migrant Workers in Indonesia

The European Union (EU) is teaming up with two United Nations groups

The European Union (EU) is teaming up with two United Nations groups

The European Union (EU) is teaming up with two United Nations groups – the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Together, they are starting a new program called ‘PROTECT’. This three-year program aims to make life better for women migrant workers, children, and other vulnerable groups in Indonesia.

Promoting Good Jobs and Reducing Risks

The PROTECT program will work to create decent work opportunities and reduce risks faced by vulnerable groups. It will make sure labor rights are protected, and work to stop violence against women and children, human trafficking, and illegal movement of migrants. 

A Big Launch Event  

The launch of the PROTECT program was led by Ida Fauziyah, the Indonesian Minister of Manpower. It happened at Lapangan Banteng in Jakarta. The event had performances showing the lives of women migrant workers, a workshop, and an exhibition displaying the different stages of labor migration.

Many Indonesian Migrants

In 2023 alone, more than 270,000 Indonesians went abroad for work. Out of these, 61% were women. Many of these women find jobs as housemaids, caregivers, or in farms, plantations, and factories in places like Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Malaysia. However, many Indonesian migrants in Malaysia go through unofficial channels.  

Difficulties Faced by Migrant Workers

Indonesian migrants, especially those in low-paying jobs, face many problems like exploitation at work, unfair laws, human trafficking, violence, harassment, and lack of access to basic services. Women migrant workers often end up in informal sectors with short-term jobs and little social protection.

Risks to Children of Migrants  

Children who go with migrant workers also face high risks of abuse, exploitation, trafficking, and lack of access to child protection services.

Support from Indonesian Government

Ida Fauziyah, the Manpower Minister, welcomed the PROTECT program. She said Indonesia wants to improve policies and migration management to better protect its migrant workers, especially women. The government has already set up integrated support offices for women in four districts.

Working for Safe Migration  

Denis Chaibi, the EU Ambassador to Indonesia and Brunei, said this joint effort aims to protect the rights of Indonesian women and children migrants by promoting safe migration policies.  

Decent Jobs and Fair Treatment

Simrin Singh from the ILO said migration policies need to consider gender, be inclusive, and follow international labor standards. This will ensure migrants get decent work opportunities and fair treatment, which is important for social justice.

Stopping Exploitation

Erik van der Veen from UNODC said protecting victims of trafficking before and during legal processes is key to stopping exploitation and abuse.

The PROTECT program, running till December 2026, builds on lessons from two previous EU projects. It aims to create a safer and fairer environment for women and child migrants in Indonesia.

About Freelance writer

As a passionate freelance writer, I delve into the intricacies of human rights, work-life balance, and labour rights to illuminate the often overlooked aspects of our societal fabric. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to social justice, I navigate the complexities of these crucial topics, aiming to foster awareness and inspire change.

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