The Institute for Education Development, Social, Religious and Cultural Studies (Infest) Yogyakarta once again collaborates with the government and several Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) concerned with Indonesian migrant workers (PMI) issues. The spread of religious-based violent extremism remains a serious problem in the world, including Indonesia. The spread of this ideology also poses a threat to PMIs, especially female PMIs. Female PMIs often experience multiple vulnerabilities while working in the domestic sphere and are exploited by employers and other actors, making them susceptible to recruitment by violent extremist organizations (VEOs).
Infest is concerned about the vulnerability of PMIs to extremist groups. Therefore, in 2018, Infest began involving the government and several CSOs in the implementation of prevention programs against extremism among PMIs. In 2019, Infest continued its program on the same issue, namely the “Prevention of Extremism and Violence among PMIs in Strengthening the Capacity of the State and Society.” During the Kick Off Workshop for the program, held on Wednesday-Thursday (August 7-8, 2019), Infest’s Executive Director, Irsyadul Ibad (Ibad), stated that there are three important components of the program’s implementation.
“The first component is the prevention of extremism and violence in the host country of Hong Kong through strengthening the PMI community and collaboration with the Indonesian Consulate General. The second component is strengthening the role of the state in preventing radicalism, extreme violence, and providing legal protection among PMIs in the host country. The third is knowledge production and information as counter-narratives and ideologies for campaigns against extreme violence among Indonesian migrant workers,” said Ibad.
During the Kick Off Workshop, Infest also involved several government agencies and relevant CSOs that deal with Indonesian migrant workers’ issues. Some of them included the National Agency for Placement and Protection of Indonesian Workers (BNP2TKI), the National Agency for Counterterrorism (BNPT), the Directorate of Protection of Indonesian Citizens and Indonesian Legal Prisoners of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (PWNI BHI Kemlu RI), LP3TKI Surabaya, BP3TKI Mataram, Inclusive Foundation, Lokataru Foundation, NII Crisis Center, Migrant Aid Indonesia, Solidarity Women, the Indonesian Migrant Workers Union (SBMI), and Lakpesdam PBNU.
According to the Director of Preparation and Departure Training at BNP2TKI, Ahnas, BNP2TKI has collaborated with Infest in creating modules for preventing extremism among PMIs and providing Training of Trainers (TOT) for departure training instructors in Phase I, which took place on January 28-29, 2019. Departure training is a process of providing guidance or information to prospective PMIs who will work abroad, aiming to prepare them mentally and equip them with knowledge for working overseas, understanding their rights and obligations, and being able to overcome the challenges they may face. BNP2TKI conducts departure training through BP3TKI/P4TKI in various regions.
“In the future, we will incorporate materials on the prevention of extremism among PMIs into the departure training syllabus, as regulated by the Agency’s Head. We will also collaborate with stakeholders to provide TOT for departure training instructors on extremism-related topics for PMIs. Additionally, we will help disseminate infographics/leaflets/banners, and other related materials regarding the development of mental and personality coaching and prevention of extremism among PMIs through BNP2TKI’s online network,” explained Ahnas.
Apart from BNP2TKI, representatives from PWNI BHI Kemlu, Hernawan Abid (Awang), also presented the development and collaboration results with Infest.