WITH the globalization of the world economy, migrant workers, especially women, are becoming the essential components and instruments of the global market system. Contemporary labor migration provides a “global workforce” that is mobile, cheap and frequently responsibility-free, both for employers and governments.


  • In 2000, the world has 175-million international migrants, half of which are women. Meanwhile, one of 10 of the population of the more developed countries are migrants. And, 800.000 Asian women workers migrate each year.
  • In 2005 Singapore has about 150,000 migrant domestic workers, coming from Indonesia (55%) and the Philippines (40%), and the rest from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, India and Bangladesh. From 1999 to 2005, at least 147 migrant domestic workers were killed for suicide and work mishap, mostly fell down from tall buildings; 124 of the latter originate from Indonesia.
  • In 2001 Hong Kong has 85% women of all 652,810 migrant workers from the Asian countries of the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, India and Nepal. In 2003 the migrant domestic workers amounted to about 200,000.
  • In 2001 Taiwan has 330,000 migrant workers and 100,000 of them are migrant domestic workers and has 5,900 undocumented migrant workers. Worse, because about 75% of them have fake documentations.
  • In 2001 Japan has had 1,159,000 migrant workers the majority of whom come from South Korea, China and Brazil.
  • In 2003 Saudi Arabia has 500,000 migrant workers and 90% of them are women.
  • In 2003 Malaysia has 233,204 migrant domestic workers, mostly come from Indonesia.


  • In 2001 the remittance amounted to US$ 71 billion. This is 17% higher than the financial aid from the official development assistance (ODA) in 1990. This also parallels with 44http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif% of the total foreign direct investments.
  • In 2003, the remittance of the migrant workers added up to US$ 90 billions.
  • An increase of 10% of this remittance may result in 1,6% decrease of the poor population in developing countries.


Though economic contributions of the migrant workers may be statistically measured, it is a dearth of data to appraise how much the cost that they have to pay and how much suffering they have to endure for the deficiency of protection for them in both sending and receiving countries of migrant workers.


Tebet Timur Dalam VI-C/17
Jakarta 12820 INDONESIA
Ph./Fax: 62-21-830 4153
Email: ecosoc@cbn.net.id; ecosocrights@gmail.com


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