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Indonesia maintains moratorium on domestic workers
September 14 2015 09:59 PM
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By Peter Alagos/Business Reporter

Indonesia will continue to stand by its decision not to send domestic workers to the Middle East, Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno LP Marsudi said.

She explained the issue of domestic workers was not discussed during HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani’s meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who was in Qatar for the Indonesia-Qatar Business and Investment Forum.

“The Indonesian government has already decided to adopt the moratorium, which is why we have stopped sending our domestic workers to the Middle East. Our priority is the protection of Indonesian workers,” Marsudi told Gulf Times on the sidelines of the forum.

According to Marsudi, unless “appropriate mechanisms” are implemented to guarantee the safety of domestic workers, “we are sticking with the moratorium.”

“The challenge is finding mechanisms that would guarantee the protection of our workers. Unless there are better mechanisms, then the government will abide by its decision to uphold the moratorium.

“We are very clear about the moratorium and this is a policy that President Joko Widodo had stressed during his visit to Saudi Arabia,” Marsudi said.

Asked if the protection mechanisms would be provided by the host country, Marsudi said: “For now, we still do not know. But what I can say now is that our decision still stands.”

She added: “The president and the Emir had not discussed the issue about domestic workers but in other countries, the government of Indonesia is settling ‘residual problems’ in terms of sending domestic workers back to our country.”

According to Marsudi, Indonesians “have a different character” compared to other expatriate workers seeking employment in the region.

She did not elaborate.

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