Talking Indonesia: protecting migrant workers

In October 2017, the Indonesian legislature passed a new law strengthening protection for the millions of Indonesians working overseas – more than half of whom are women and many in vulnerable sectors. According to the World Bank, migrant workers comprise 7 per cent of Indonesia’s work force (only China and the Philippines have larger proportions of migrant workers) and, in 2016, remittances from these workers accounted for 1 percent of Indonesia’s gross domestic product. The sector is controlled by a few powerful groups in business and politics and the rights of workers have often been neglected.


In Talking Indonesia this week, Dr Jemma Purdey talks to Anis Hidayah, co-founder of the nongovernmental organisation Migrant CARE, about the lengthy process leading up to the adoption of Law 18 of 2017 on the Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers, the changes it will bring for migrant workers, and what still needs to be done to ensure they get full protection.


In 2018, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University,  Dr Dave McRae from the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute, Dr Charlotte Setijadi from the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore and Dr Dirk Tomsa from La Trobe University.


Look out for a new Talking Indonesia podcast every fortnight.  Catch up on previous episodes here, subscribe via iTunes or listen via your favourite podcasting app.


Photo by Antara.


Dr Jemma Purdey is a Fellow at the Australia Indonesia Centre and Adjunct Fellow, Deakin University. She is the author of Anti-Chinese Violence in Indonesia 1996-1999, published by NUS Press.