AIPA: Indonesia highlights migrant worker issues

21 Aug 2007   |  Organizations   |  Other Regional Organizations  

Indonesia highlights migrant worker issues in AIPA meeting 
 21 August 2007,  The Jakarta Post

Delegation members from the Indonesian parliament have proposed to discuss migrant worker issues during the ongoing 28th session of the ASEAN Inter-parliament Assembly (AIPA) in Kuala Lumpur.

The delegation said the issues were crucial for the community of ASEAN countries.

\"We\'ve decided to address the matters of migrant workers because it is very important to protect (their rights), in accordance with the United Nations\' commitment,\" Agung Laksono, head of the Indonesian delegation, told Antara news wires Monday.

ASEAN countries in January declared their commitment to protect and promote the rights of migrant workers during the 12th ASEAN Summit in Cebu, the Philippines.

Migrant workers should be allowed to hold on to their passports, receive above award wages and should expect to be treated properly by their employers.

\"Thus, the parliaments of the ASEAN countries should also back the UN and ASEAN commitments on the issues,\" Agung said.

He said the Indonesian parliament had been disappointed with the Malaysian government\'s decision to allow employers to keep an employee\'s passport.

In addition, Indonesia said it did not agree with the Malaysian regulation allowing employers to whip or use other forms of physical punishment against employees from overseas.

Agung said the Malaysian government should instead impose a punishment against employers in Malaysia that recruit illegal immigrants.

Indonesia has demanded Malaysia investigate and punish employers suspected of killing or abusing Indonesian workers following the death of Kurniasih -- one of the 21 Indonesian maids who has died this year at the hands of an employer in Malaysia.

More than 300,000 Indonesians work in Malaysia.

Twenty two lawmakers from Indonesia attended the AIPA meeting, including several members from the Regional Representatives Council. The meeting started last Saturday and should conclude Friday.

After 30 years, the group has agreed to change the name of the inter-parliamentary organization to AIPA from AIPO -- ASEAN Inter-Parliament Organization.

During the meeting, Indonesia also proposed to discuss extradition matters in line with the Declaration of ASEAN Concord declared in Bali in 1976.

Sources and Relevant Links

Indonesia highlights migrant worker issues in AIPA meeting
Jakarta Post, 21 August 2007

Jakarta ASEAN CSO-TU National Consultation Statement, 12 May 2007
Recommendations to Member States of ASEAN
* The Indonesian position reflects the Task Force consultation  recommendations
to member states of ASEAN:

6. The Member States of ASEAN are strongly urged to establish focal points in each national Ministry of Labour, give those focal points the necessary authority, and task them to engage substantively with the TF-AMW as it develops the draft ASEAN Framework Instrument on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers.

8. The right of citizens of all ASEAN Member States to hold their own passports and Government-issued identity documents should be considered inviolable, yet migrant workers regularly report that brokers, agents, and employers routinely and systematically seize their passports and documents. Member States of ASEAN should adopt a clear no-tolerance policy that imposes tough punishments on all persons who seize or hold migrant workers’ documents.

10. The Member States of ASEAN are urged to intensify their actions against all forms of discrimination and violence against migrant workers, and set out clear policies that state that ‘national treatment’ in wages and working conditions shall be provided for all migrant workers, regardless of status.



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