Report: Indonesia to phase out sending domestic helpers to Malaysia, says ambassador

“We are going to gradually phase out Indonesians working as domestic workers anywhere in the world” 

(MMO) – Indonesia is looking to phase out sending its citizens to Malaysia to work as domestic helpers, said its ambassador to Malaysia Hermono.

Malaysiakini reported him as saying Indonesian domestic helpers were vulnerable to abuse and forced labour, and would instead be encouraged to focus on formal job sectors.

“We are going to gradually phase out Indonesians working as domestic workers anywhere in the world,” he was reported as saying.

“This was part of our national migrant worker policy which aimed to achieve zero domestic workers by 2017 but that objective was not achieved. We will phase them out in countries where our workers faced the most rights abuses first,” he said.

The republic had imposed a moratorium on sending domestic workers to 18 Middle Eastern countries in 2015.

Following various reports of poor working conditions for labourers and abuse of domestic workers in Malaysia, Malaysia and Indonesia recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the ‘Employment and Protection of Indonesian Domestic Workers in Malaysia’, to compel Malaysia to abide by provisions and processes to help protect their foreign workers from abuse.

Hermono said it was a landmark event in the relationship between the two countries, reflecting Malaysia’s seriousness and commitment to the MoU and would be used as a benchmark for future bilateral agreements undertaken with other countries like Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Brunei.

“We are committed to ensuring that an MoU was in place in countries whose local laws do not sufficiently safeguard the rights of domestic workers.

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