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印尼移工網絡(Jaringan Buruh Migran Indonesia – JBMI)對印尼政府透過印尼移工保障局(Body of Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers – BP2MI)推遲落實零派遣費政策，亦被稱為零費用政策，至2021年7月15日的決定感到憤怒。印尼政府聲稱推遲落實是因為地區政府及聘用移工的地方的僱主都未作好準備。
it has been the practice of hong kong people to call the migrant domestic workers of various ethnicities (migrant workers or mdw) as foreign servants, while the hong kong government would use foreign domestic helpers (fdh), however we see that, quite a few of them had been toiling in their services for hong kong for many years, and had contributed to the development of the society and economy, their works should not be go unnoticed, and they are an essential part of the population. these namings carried with them unnecessary segregation of who’s in and who’s out and exclusion, therefore we have chosen to call them as migrant domestic workers of various ethnicities (migrant workers or mdw), to state our willed vision to walk and work with the labouring workers. and let it be noted.
Immediately implement zero placement fees without burden to IMWs (note1) and employers
The Network of Indonesian Migrant Workers (Jaringan Buruh Migran Indonesia-JBMI) is angered by the decision of the Indonesian government, through the Body of Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (BP2MI), to suspend the implementation of zero placement fees, known as Zero Cost Policy, until 15 July 2021. The government claims that the suspension was due the unpreparedness of the local governments and prospective employers in the receiving countries.
Last year, 15 June 2020, the Indonesian government issued a Zero Cost policy and put into an effect on 15 January 2021. This policy is aimed to address the overwhelming concern of high placement fees among migrant workers. In Hong Kong, each Indonesian migrant domestic worker (IMDW) is required to pay around HK$15,000 as placement fee through 6 to 8 months of salary deduction. To ensure completion of payment, Hong Kong-based employment agencies would keep the IMDWs’ travel documents (passport and employment contract) while the recruitment agencies in Indonesia would confiscate their personal documents – such as school diploma, ID, marriage certificate and others.
“We were very happy with the Zero Cost policy and we thought we will be free from the exploitation of overcharging and debt bondage. But now, it seems government is not serious about it,” says Sringatin, JBMI coordinator, “We are doubting whether Indonesian government genuinely intends to exempt us from the exploitation of placement fees or it is just another sweet promise.”
This suspension has a major impact on the survival of Indonesian migrant workers (IMWs) who are already suffocated by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is expected to ease the burden of IMWs so they can send more money to support their families who also suffer during the pandemic.
To address the problem of high placement fees, first and foremost, the Indonesian government must remove unnecessary and burdensome components of fees such as psychological tests, medical tests, placement insurance, administrative fees, test fees, competency fees, notarization fees, training fees and other required.
Those fees are created and used as an opportunity by the Indonesian government to earn profits from migrant workers and employers. It is the very reason why placement fees are so high and exploitative. The government is now planning to relegate the fees – which previously paid by IMWs – to employers. However, in the case of Hong Kong and Taiwan, employers protested as they themselves are impacted by the pandemic.
“More malicious schemes will be created to collect the fees, either by recruitment agency or Indonesian government. It will create unnecessary pressure and tension between IMWs and employers. At the end, we will be at the losing end,”retorted Sringatin.
In the past 6 months, some IMWs are made to pay cash in Indonesia as processing fees, ranging between HK$3300 to HK$10,000. Likewise, employers in Hong Kong are made to pay over HK$15,000 plus quarantine fees upon the worker’s arrival.
JBMI believes that the Zero Cost policy has no intent to remove placement fees but instead divert it to other parties, namely the employers. This scheme will ensure the continuity of the Indonesian labour export program and earn the most profit from the migrant workers. Apparently, the government has no concern over the worsening condition of IMWs in the midst of a pandemic.
Moreover, Zero Cost will be very difficult to be materialised if the Indonesian government continues to deny the right of IMWs to access direct hiring and force them to go through recruitment agencies whenever they process contracts. In addition to this, the Indonesian government also fails to create an easy, fair and transparent legal mechanism for IMWs to file cases against their Indonesian based-recruitment agency for overcharging and confiscation of personal documents.
In this regards, JBMI demands the Indonesian government to:
- Revoke unnecessary and burdensome component of fees from the placement fees;
- Ensure transparency in the discussion of fees and the process of payment;
- Enforce easy, fair and transparent legal complaint mechanism on overcharging; and
- Allow direct hiring for all Indonesian migrant domestic workers.
weblink of the post on “Sinar Migran”:
note1: it has been the practice of hong kong people to call the migrant domestic workers of various ethnicities (migrant workers or mdw) as foreign servants, while the hong kong government would use foreign domestic helpers (fdh), however we see that, quite a few of them had been toiling in their services for hong kong for many years, and had contributed to the development of the society and economy, their works should not be go unnoticed, and they are an essential part of the population. these namings carried with them unnecessary segregation of who’s in and who’s out and exclusion, therefore we have chosen to call them as migrant domestic workers of various ethnicities (migrant workers or mdw), to state our willed vision to walk and work with the labouring workers. and let it be noted.