MUHAMMADIYAH.OR.ID, JAKARTA – Muhammadiyah commits to advocating for Indonesian Migrant Workers (IMWs) regarding fair wages, their well-being and safety protection, and customs and excise regulations. To support IMWs, Muhammadiyah adopts a comprehensive approach encompassing cultural and structural strategies. This involves collaborating with the Indonesian government and the countries where the workers are located.
The Chair of the Muhammadiyah Council for Cadre Development and Human Resources (MPKSDI) Bachtiar Dwi Kurniawan mentioned five critical areas of the Muhammadiyah advocacy.
First, Muhammadiyah recognizes the need for two-way education in informal sectors, ensuring the IMWs and their employers know their rights and obligations. This approach safeguards the rights of IMWs and prevents any form of exploitation or mistreatment by their employers.
Second, Muhammadiyah places importance on advocating for the spiritual well-being of IMWs. This includes providing access to places of worship in host countries and offering regular spiritual guidance. In this regard, Islamic organizations like Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) can play a crucial role by providing support and guidance to IMWs, ensuring their spiritual well-being while abroad.
Third, Muhammadiyah emphasizes the advocacy of financial literacy. By promoting wise financial management, IMWs can make informed decisions, focusing on long-term financial goals rather than indulging in excessive consumption. This empowers them to build substantial savings, which will prove beneficial upon their repatriation to Indonesia.
Fourth, Muhammadiyah concentrates on empowering IMWs after returning to Indonesia. It is essential to undertake cluster-based approaches and regional coordination, tailoring job opportunities to match their individual skills and capabilities.
Last, Muhammadiyah views that advocating for all the aforementioned aspects necessitates structural interventions. Muhammadiyah is dedicated to ensuring the well-being and prosperity of IMWs.
“We are driven by the sincere desire to contribute to the progress and well-being of migrant workers who, out of necessity, seek opportunities in foreign countries for the betterment of their families. The advocacy is challenging and requires a structural approach to effectively address the well-being and prosperity of IMWs,” said Bachtiar at the online sharing session with IMWs on Sunday (28/5).
Furthermore, the Chair of the Muhammadiyah Council for Community Empowerment (MPM), M. Nurul Yamien, proposed legal literacy programs to the Indonesian government due to the escalating cases faced by IMWs.
One contributing factor to the issues faced is IMWs’ involvement in the informal sector. Due to the diverse characteristics of employers, IMWs’ safety and well-being in the workplace should become the primary concern.
Yamien called for evaluating institutions or agencies responsible for deploying IMWs overseas. This step aims to untangle the intricate issues faced by IMWs.
Yamien also suggested establishing communities or groups based on workplace or profession, facilitating effective communication and problem-solving when difficulties arise.
Besides, the other issue that IMWs confront is dealing with support and assistance upon returning to Indonesia.