She declined to be named. Her skin was white. Her face is oval. Her chin is hanging. Her hair is well groomed and healthy unraveled. She is tall. But she was always crying, also always refused to be interviewed. A group of journalists who came in migrant (TKI) shelter in the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur was not successfully interviewing her. However, the TKI, all women, in the shelter whispered that the woman from North Sulawesi was a victim of human trafficking. She is also the neatest and not mingles with others. The average of the other women did not appeal in appearance: on their clothing, skin, hair, face as well. One of them came from West Nusa Tenggara. She is illiterate. And she was always holding her baby with great affection. She claimed to be a victim Bangladeshi man.We can display longer stories of the heroes of our foreign exchange. The six million workers abroad is a big number to build terrible stories. Their treatment was similar to the treatment of villagers toward their chicken; on morning, opening the cage, on noon avoiding them for not entering the house, on afternoon to guarding them to go back into the cage. Never feed them. But we always take the eggs for our lunch, slaughtered during Eid, or to sell it when we needed money. That’s us. It’s the story of Lisa Bonat, and now Wilfrida case will be coming. Their contribution to our foreign exchange formally recorded Rp80 trillion per year. However Jumhur Hidayat, head of BNP2TKI, estimated it that the figure could reach Rp120 trillion. This is not a small figure. Of course we like to compare it with our export earnings. Well, the income from our migrant workers was without investing at all. Even the overseas agents must pay Rp20 million per TKI to agents in Indonesia. Instead they are giving money. Not to mention the double impact of these migrant workers. Per migrant workers could feed four family members, educate their children, building kiosks for families left behind, and so on. But how much is their country give to them? Do not be surprised. True. Zero dollar. BNP2TKI budget per year is only Rp250 billion. Everything used to pay the agency staff salaries and operational. There was no funding for training and such. Protection budget is only Rp200 billion in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was for the whole world budget. It was just sort of escrow if there is an extraordinary event plus for salaries and operational.
As a result, our workers do not have sufficient stock of skills, language, knowledge, legal awareness, and confidence. We also cannot protect and provide security for them. We release them in the country like releasing the chicken in the wilderness. Most could evolve into a partridge, able to fly agile, lean, and fly enough to save themselves when there is a dog or a tiger hunting them. But some of them trapped into delicious meals. As the Latin saying, man is a wolf to [his fellow] man. Most of our workers tortured, raped, enslaved, and even traded and used as prostitutes. Even more ironic, due to the lack of state support against them, some of them have been traded since from Indonesia. Value per head could be over Rp20 million. They are the undocumented or illegal migrants. It’s a trade and human slavery in modern times. State witnesses it all brightly. The state knew and understood it. But the state is silent, and its officials have been part of it. It’s not much different from the era of slavery in the Dutch colonial period, when the Indonesian people traded up to Suriname.
The Indonesian woman, when they went abroad, they have been married or with children. Some were unmarried. Have we ever imagined, how do they feel when they came home with another child, as the result of rape and child prostitution? They are children born as results in a foreign wilderness. They are not ready to thrust it in their village realities. Villagers living in the community system are different from the urban individualist. So the horrible series become an opportunities for crazy men crazy when they arrived at the airport. The bandits of trafficking were ready to buy the children. Together with a military general, Jumhur form a foundation to accommodate the children. If migrant workers are pregnant, the foundation is ready to accommodate up to childbirth. Up to now there are about 50 children. But others are stuck on children trafficking. The mafia is crazy. There were among those who came to the foundation and offer price of Rp 50 million per child.
Of course there are many migrants’ success stories, fortunate’s, and glorious life. We sometimes touched on them when met at the airport in Hong Kong, Singapore, or Dubai. These women of the village are often showing off his skills in front of us to speak loudly. They talk in English, Arabic, or Chinese. They are the chicken that turned into a partridge. Departing only with Indonesian language skills, they are now fluent in foreign.
The story of the former TKI who successfully self-employed are also not few. But the question was not about their accountability and fighting spirit in their ability to change fate, but we question the state role on their treatment. It’s not just a matter of humanity, but national pride. Just as the word of Jumhur as; economically illogical, socially inhuman. That is our treatment for TKI.
13 January 2014