Apart from giving opportunities for work, worker migration is basically vulnerable to trafficking and trans-national crimes. Therefore, efforts for social development of migrant workers is urgent to do.
Sussana Eddyono, S.Sos., M.Si., M.A, doctoral candidate of University of Pittsburgh, said migration is an unavoidable event in human lives.
"Migrant workers are an inseparable part of global migration. Not just on the manpower context, but also marriage context,” she said in the Seminar Room of Faculty of Social and Political Sciences UGM on Monday (25/9) in a seminar titled Policy on Reintegration and Migrant Worker Empowerment, organised during Social Development Talks (SODET) of graduate programme.
According to Sussana, migration does not only happen from south to north countries but also developing to developed countries. The US became a favourite country for Indonesian migrants (20 percent), followed by Saudi Arabia, which is 4.2 percent.
Furthermore, Sussana said big cities became the destination of migrant workers. By working in formal or informal sectors, the migrants help make contributions to the progress of the big cities.
Data showed some 40-48 percent of international migrants from Indonesia are female who work in various types of works. Obviously, they play a big role in Indonesia’s economy.
"The economic role of these workers are very big. The remittance from them is high, much bigger than the world development aid that is received,” she said.
Sussana further explained that problems of migrant workers are complicated such as deployment, abandoned family, sickness, occupational accident, pregnancy, and underqualification, underpaid, abuse, or overwork, etc.
Drs. AB Rokhman, M.Si, head of BP3TKI agency of Yogyakarta, said there were always the driving factor of migrant workers, including economic factor. And once they returned to the country, a number of the workers have either no skills or capital to sustain their economy. The government later gives training for empowerment.
Former migrant worker, Maizidah Salas, SH, said the problem of migrant workers is the lack of education for financial planning. Agencies only offer them language skills or work related skills.
"The skills that are given have no standard, while the core problem of the migrants is financial management. They don’t know how to manage their finance well, while at home they are faced with the problem of limited work opportunities,” she said.