UGM Center for Women's Studies agreed that the Indonesian workers deployment to Saudi Arabia should be stopped. This is a form of protest and condemnation of the beheading punishment upon an Indonesian worker, Ruyati binti Satubi (54) by the Government of Saudi Arabia. Head of Center, Dra. Sri Djoharwinarlien, S.U, said that in addition to stop workers deployment to Saudi Arabia, the Government of Indonesia should immediately improve the mechanism of diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia to have a more powerful bargaining, especially in cases where workers are facing beheading punishment. “The Indonesian government’s bargaining position is always very weak, therefore it needs to be improved. We agree that workers deployment to Saudi Arabia has to be stopped," said Djoharwinarlien on Tuesday (21/6).
In her opinion in the case of beheading punishment against Ruyati, the Saudi Arabian Government has ignored the consular procedures. On the other hand, the Center expects the government to further expand job opportunities for every citizen. "The protection of migrant workers abroad should be thoroughly given," she added.
Djoharwinarlien also observes besides beheading penalty cases and cases of violence, the problem of illegal labor is still prevalent, particularly in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. The case also raises issues related to law and protection. Many illegal workers from Indonesia experience discriminatory treatment, legal issues, and imprisonment. "The illegal workers who have legal issues are certainly not going to get what they had aspired to when they started to work, especially the economic increase," said Djoharwinarlien.
So far, many of workers who work overseas are originally workers from the agriculture sector, plantation, and domestic sector. This condition indicates a low educational overview of the workers. Low education level of the migrant workers is also expected to affect the treatment when they are abroad. "There are already so many proofs, for example, the Indonesian maids who are treated violently, whether physically, economically and socially abroad," she explained.
Earlier, in a workshop on Vulnerable Condition Of Migrant Workers Overseas, the Center also urges the National Agency for Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (BNP2TKI) to firmly eliminate touts and illegal migrants recruitment agency as well as to rescind operating licenses for tricky recruitment agency. In addition, it is necessary to improve remuneration system and workers protection in the country, including those working in the informal sector, in anticipation of the informal workers influx to foreign country.