Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

Indonesia: Ban on Sending Workers to Malaysia Lifted

(Dec. 6, 2011) In 2009, following reports of Indonesian domestic workers being abused in Malaysia, a ban on sending migrant laborers there was instituted. On November 30, 2011, the Indonesian government announced an end to the moratorium.

According to Muhaimin Iskandar, Manpower and Transmigration Minister, workers would likely be able to start migrating to Malaysia in March 2012. The process will take three months to begin because the potential migrants will need 200 hours of training, time to obtain the correct documentation, and job placement. The placement of workers in domestic service in Malaysia will be handled by private agencies. Iskandar stated that at least 117 agencies are ready to manage the placement of migrant workers. He said that “[t]hey have signed performance contracts to carry out points agreed in the memorandum of understanding for placement and protection of migrant workers between Indonesia and Malaysia.” (Indonesia Revokes Ban on Sending Migrant Workers to Malaysia, THE JAKARTA GLOBE (Dec. 1, 2011).)

In order to protect its citizens from abusive situations resulting from the lack of legal protections, Indonesia has maintained bans on sending migrant workers to several other countries in recent years; no workers have been sent to Kuwait since 2009, Jordan since 2010, and Saudi Arabia and Syria since earlier this year. In November 2011, the Indonesian government announced it did not plan to add nations to the list. (Mustaqim Adamrah, Govt Will Not Add Nations to Migrant Worker Blacklist, THE JAKARTA POST (Nov. 3, 2011).)