Sunday, November 23, 2014

Indonesia plans to prohibit export of female workers

Indonesia plans to prohibit export of female workers

EXPLOITATION FIGHT:Efforts to end the abuse of Indonesian workers abroad led the nation to threaten a moratorium on the ‘export’ of women and girls

By Lin Hui-chin, Huang Pang-ping and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer and CNA

Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla, second left, and Indonesian President Joko Widodo, center, flanked by the Cabinet, address officials in Jakarta on Monday last week.

Photo: AFP

Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla on Friday said the government plans to stop exporting female workers to foreign nations within five years.
Due to the previous lack of demand in the domestic market, many Indonesian women have been forced to go abroad seeking jobs, but many have been — in one form or another — subject to psychological or physical trauma and abuse, Kalla said during a meeting with women’s rights groups
Indonesia plans to end all abuse of its citizens working abroad, Kalla said.
The primary source of employment for Indonesian workers seeking jobs in Taiwan is in healthcare, working with elderly people.
According to the Ministry of Labor, the current population of Indonesian workers in Taiwan stands at 222,000, with more than 170,000 working as cleaners or caretakers, forming the front line of long-term healthcare workers for Taiwan’s aging society.
The number of Indonesians coming to Taiwan for employment each month is also on the rise, the ministry added.
Despite the large numbers of Indonesians hired for home care, the impact on healthcare would be minimal, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said.
In terms of home care, the current system is still heavily focused on Taiwanese labor, but rotates the worker between families on shifts, rather than having one person being on call for 24 hours, the health ministry’s Department of Nursing and Healthcare Director-General Teng Su-wen (鄧素文) said.
To prevent a lack of steady labor, the government plans to combine foreign and domestic workers in the home healthcare sector, Teng said, adding that the program is undergoing trials and its effectiveness has yet to be determined.
The health ministry said it has in place a 10-year program for training Taiwanese youth to provide the majority of healthcare services for older Taiwanese, saying that foreign labor, despite its size, is only a supplementary workforce.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Labor Workforce Development Agency Director-General Liao Wei-jen (廖為仁) said the Indonesian government had made similar claims before, adding that the previous time it made such comments, it set a deadline of 2017.
Foreign labor is an unstable labor source and could not be sustained unless Taiwan continues to maintain its comparative economic superiority to Indonesia, Liao said.
The central government is also seeking other sources of foreign labor, he added.

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