Update: Law no. 39/2004 on the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers has been replaced by Law No.18 / 2017 on the Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers but requires 28 implementing regulations, consisting of 2 Presidential Regulations, 11 Government Regulations, 12 Ministerial Regulations on Employment and 3 Regulation of the Head of the Agency so that it is still in a transitional period of 2 years (using Law No. 39/2004) until the implementing regulations are issued.

Several documents are required before migrant workers can start their journey:

  • Passport
  • Employment contract
  • Work visa

Moreover, the law requires recruitment agencies to overtake a list of responsibilities:

  • Produce and sign placement agreements with prospective labour migrants (article 38, sub articles 1 and 2)
  • Report and submit copies of each placement agreement to the local office of the Ministry of Manpower & Transmigration (Article 38, sub article 2; Article 54, sub article 1)
  • Ensure completeness of documentation of labour migrants (Article 65)

It is also defined by law that the government is responsible for delivering pre-departure trainings (Article 69 (3) of Law No. 39/2004). Two responsible institutions are specified that will execute the trainings. Firstly, the “Badan Nasional Penempatan dan Perlindungan Tenaga Kerja Indonesia” BNP2TKI is responsible for delivering trainings placed under government-to-government agreements. Secondly, the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration together with recruitment agencies is responsible for delivering training to all other departing labour migrants. By law, these trainings should be delivered over a time of 20hours, be free of charge, and take place no later than two weeks before departure.

Due to the high numbers of mistreatment of Indonesian workers, the country has set a goal to end emigration of domestic workers by 2017 and focus on establishing effective training programs for more highly skilled professionals. Due to missing cooperation between countries or conflicting laws, migrants are often not aware of their rights in the destination countries. Various organizations in the destination countries, such as Helpers for Domestic Workers in Hong Kong, provide free legal counselling to foreign workers to help them understand how to protect their rights.

A recommended document to browse through is the “Guide for migrant workers: A pocket book (in Bahasa Indonesia)”, providing information about safe migration mechanisms.