By Ryan Dagur
Activists called on lawmakers and ministers yesterday to quickly ratify a 1990 UN convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.
The group says President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono instructed the ministries of foreign affairs, law and human rights, and manpower and transmigration to do so in a letter signed on February 7 which was submitted to House of Representatives chairman Marzuki Ali.
For 13 years, activists and civil society have pressured the government to act for the sake of migrant workers, executive director of Migrant Care Anis Hidayah said yesterday.
We urge immediate discussion on ratification by involving the active participation of civil society, she said.
Rieke Diah Pitaloka, an activist and legislator, said yesterday that the house’s commission IX, which oversees manpower and transmigration issues, is to start discussing the issue today.
“Ratification is important because the convention decides the minimum standards of civil rights protection, economy and social-culture of all migrant workers and their families,” she said.
The convention includes a series of standards for the protection of migrant workers and outlines the obligations of original, transit and receiving countries. It also prevents and eliminates the exploitation of all migrant workers and members of their families, she added.
“I urge legislators and ministers to immediately ratify the convention so that it can be a guideline for the improvement of protection for Indonesian migrant workers,” she asserted.