World Bulletin/News Desk
The Indonesian government is planning to repatriate 1.8 million nationals stranded abroad without work permits, local media reported Saturday.
Nusron Wahid, the head of the Agency for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers, said the state would cover the cost of bringing the multitude home, the Jakarta Globe said.
“There will be a discussion on bringing back 1.8 million illegal migrant workers who do not have a work contract and we will use the state budget to do it,” Wahid said.
According to the government, 6.2 million Indonesians are working overseas although the International Labour Organisation estimates the number is at least double the official figure.
The majority working without permission are in neighboring Malaysia -- around 1.2 million, mainly in construction or palm oil production.
The treatment of migrant workers is a major political issue in Indonesia, where young women are frequently recruited from villages and sent to work abroad, typically in Malaysia or Saudi Arabia.
Cases of mistreatment at the hands of employers are not uncommon.
Wahid said he planned to simplify the process to work abroad legally. Currently, many migrants avoid applying for legitimate work due to the high cost and levels of bureaucracy.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ figures for illegal Indonesian workers contradict those of the migration agency.
Tatang Razak, the ministry’s director general for protecting Indonesians abroad, said Wednesday that there were only 300,000 unregistered Indonesians facing deportation by Malaysia.
Malaysia has set a Dec. 31 deadline for illegal foreign workers to leave the country.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Aralık 2014, 23:52