Importance of Multi-Stakeholder Synergy in Promoting Safe Migration and Combating TPPO from Upstream to Downstream

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Arbeiterwohlfahrt (AWO) International and the Institute for Education Development, Social, and Religious Cultural Studies (Infest) Yogyakarta held a national workshop entitled “Promoting Safe Migration and Combating Human Trafficking (TPPO).” The event, held in Jakarta from Monday to Wednesday (16th-18th December 2019), involved various stakeholders at the village, regional, and national levels. The workshop also featured speakers from the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) in the Philippines, a council mandated to develop comprehensive and integrated programs to prevent and reduce human trafficking in the Philippines. The discussion on safe migration and the eradication of TPPO is an important topic considering the complexity of migration issues not only in Indonesia but also globally. Consequently, despite the government’s and civil society organizations’ (CSO) initiatives, it seems that the efforts are never enough to eradicate TPPO. Among the stakeholders present were representatives from the Ministry of Manpower (Kemenaker); Subdirectorate of Travel Document Verification, Directorate of Immigration Traffic; Indonesian Migrant Worker Advocacy Network (ADBMI); Mitra Wacana; Indonesian Migrant Workers Union (SBMI); International Labour Organization (ILO); Infest; Panca Karsa Association ; Directorate of Empowerment and Placement, National Agency for Placement and Protection of Indonesian Manpower (BNP2TKI); Human Rights Working Group (HRWG); Confederation of Prosperous Indonesian Labor Unions; Justice Without Borders (JWB); International Organization for Migration (IOM); University of Indonesia (UI); Migrant Care; and the Indonesian Labor Placement Organization (ASPATAKI).

Importance of Stakeholder Synergy

In the context of Indonesia, discussions on safe migration are also crucial in relation to the enactment of Law No. 18 of 2017 concerning the Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (PPMI) and the formulation of its implementing regulations. Regarding the challenges of implementing the PPMI law in the pre-employment and post-employment phases, according to Tanti, a representative from Kemenaker, there were still several challenges that exist. Pre-employment challenges included disseminating information (in terms of form, method, frequency, target audience, etc.); ensuring fast and accurate services; distribution of supporting facilities; facilitating access to training institutions for prospective Indonesian migrant workers (CPMI) who are required to be proactive; and dealing with procedural differences with the host countries. Meanwhile, challenges for Indonesian migrant workers (PMI) after employment included data challenges regarding former PMIs; limited availability of empowerment programs; handling cases when they are no longer in the host country; recognizing competencies as an asset in seeking employment opportunities domestically; and the lack of interest among former PMIs in entrepreneurship. “So, how about if CSOs are willing to contribute to these challenges? We invite everyone because we share the same goal of protecting PMIs. Let’s take on our respective roles,” expressed Tanti.

The Important Role of Villages in Ensuring Safe Migration

In the workshop on promoting safe migration and combating TPPO, the importance of the role of village governments (Pemdes) in ensuring safe migration was also emphasized. According to Tanti, before the enactment of the PPMI law, the central role was primarily held by district and city governments. However, with the implementation of Law No. 18 of 2017, the role and responsibilities of Pemdes were clearly outlined in Article 42. The tasks and responsibilities of Pemdes include receiving and providing information and job requests from agencies responsible for labor affairs; verifying data and recording information on prospective Indonesian migrant workers (CPMI); facilitating the fulfillment of administrative requirements for CPMI’s population records; monitoring the departure and return of PMIs; and empowering CPMIs, PMIs, and their families.
In the course of the workshop, initiatives from CSOs that had been actively involved in addressing PMI issues were also presented. Each CSO brought along their respective partners, including Infest Yogyakarta, ADBMI, Panca Karsa Association, and Mitra Wacana. The learnings from these CSOs were diverse, including how they strengthened the capacity of both village communities and village governments in handling PMI cases and empowering returning PMIs in their respective villages. This included addressing the challenges and strategies encountered during the learning process.

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