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In 2017 Indonesia to Stop Sending Helpers Abroad

The Indonesian government plans to stop sending domestic workers abroad from 2017, a minister was quoted as saying on Thursday.

“In the (10-year) 2007 roadmap for domestic workers, we hope that the number of Indonesian migrant workers as domestic helpers being sent abroad eventually reaches zero,” Manpower Minister Muhaimin Iskandar was quoted by the Jakarta globe as saying.

Nevertheless, the minister admitted that reaching the target would be difficult, with the main constraints including providing enough jobs in Indonesia.

He added that the state had no authority to prevent people from seeking work abroad.

Muhaimin said the roadmap did foresee the possibility that there would be some people seeking work abroad as domestic helpers after 2017.

Those people, he said, would need to have a clearly defined position and their status would have to be recognized by the recipient country.

“The recipient country would have to recognize them as formal workers with certain rights, such as working hours, the right to holidays and leave as well as to a set salary,” he said.

Starting in 2017, he said, anyone going to work abroad as a domestic helper would have to have a clear position waiting for them before moving overseas.

Beginning in March, he said, the government will apply those same requirements to workers intending to find jobs in Malaysia.

A moratorium on sending domestic workers to Malaysia was imposed in mid-2009 after multiple cases of abuse there.

Indonesia resumed sending migrant workers to Malaysia on Dec. 1 last year after protracted negotiations on the protection of its migrant workers there.

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