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Indonesia: Govt to give migrant workers mobile phones

last update: July 08, 09:35

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Jakarta, 8 July (AKI/Jakarta Post) - Indonesia's national agency for the placement and protection of migrant workers has signed an agreement with telecoms firm PT Nurkumala Abadi to provide cell phones to migrant workers sent to South Korea.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had earlier promised the public that he would provide every Indonesian migrant worker with a cell phone, following numerous cases of abuse in several countries.

"It is highly expected that the cell phones will enable them to communicate with their family members and related government authorities in Indonesia more frequently," the agency's head Jumhur Hidayat said on Friday.

" Let’s hope that this reduces the amount of problems faced by migrant workers,” he added.

The government sent 2,923 migrant workers to South Korea between the 1 January and 4 July.

PT Nurkumala Abadi Hermin general manager Abdul Syukur said that before leaving for South Korea, workers would be asked to complete a registration form.

"Once they arrive in South Korea, they will receive cell phones just by showing the form," he said.

He said PT Nurkumala Abadi had committed to provide 8,000 to 10,000 cell phones each year.

Accordin to the agency's data, 3,962 migrant workers were sent to South Korea in 2010 and 2,024 workers in 2009. The highest number of workers sent to South Korea was recorded in 2008 when 11,885 workers were sent there; almost tripling the 2007’s figure of 4,303 workers.

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