6 Indonesian Migrant Workers Allegedly Trapped in Syria

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - At least six Indonesian migrant workers are allegedly trapped in Syria. Four of them hail from Malang regency, East Java, while the other two from Bogor, West Java and West Nusa Tenggara. 

    The six was promised jobs in Abudhabi, United Arab Emirates, but were instead sent to an agency’s shelter belonging to a Syrian national bereft of jobs and underwent violence. 

    This information was revealed by a migrant worker from Malang regency, Yanti (45) who managed to escape from Syria. 

    Yanti explained that she was in Aleppo, which has been torn by civil war for years, with nine other people for five months before arriving at Surabaya’s Juanda International Airport in late December 2018. 

    “Everyone wants to come home. If a video shows up, saying they are in good condition, it’s not true. They are told to do so. I’m able to return because I’m pregnant,” said Yanti, who admitted to being a migrant worker via an illegal agent whose name remind unknown to date. 

    She also confirmed a Facebook account under the name Srikandi, a migrant worker in Aleppo, who sought help through her posts on January 4, 2019, that had been deleted. 

    Read: Intl Migrants Day, Migrant Care: Road to Justice Still Far

    The Malang regency administration’s Manpower Agency is said to have been cognizant of this information. Laborer Placement Section head Sukardi assured that they were illegal migrant workers considering the government’s moratorium on sending laborers to the Middle East and other countries as regulated on the Manpower Minister’s Decree No. 260 Year 2015 on the Cessation and Prohibition on Placement of Migrant Workers. 

    Sukardi pointed out that the agency was in the dark of their whereabouts and condition since no relative of the victims reported the matter. He said he heard about the issue from the village administration’s verbal reports. 

    “We have not yet known their full identities. The information is limited from verbal reports. We are waiting for an official report from the village administration and victims’ relatives to later conduct proactive and concrete actions to help,” said Sukardi via a phone call. 

    At present, the agency is still tracing the location of the company and the sponsor that illegally sent those migrant workers to Syria or other countries. 

    ABDI PURMONO (CONTRIBUTOR)