Human Rights & Democracy

Speech by the EU Ambassador to Indonesia, H.E. Vincent Guérend at the Consultative Dialogue "Safe & Fair: realising women migrant workers' rights and opportunities in the ASEAN region"

Jakarta, 24/05/2018 - 05:06, UNIQUE ID: 180524_2
Speeches of the Ambassador

Speech by the EU Ambassador to Indonesia, H.E. Vincent Guérend at the Consultative Dialogue "Safe & Fair: realising women migrant workers' rights and opportunities in the ASEAN region"

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Speech by the EU Ambassador to Indonesia, H.E. Vincent Guérend at the Consultative Dialogue "Safe & Fair: realising women migrant workers' rights and opportunities in the ASEAN region"


Jakarta, 24 May 2018


Selamat pagi,

Bapak Maruli A. Hasoloan, Director General for Workers Placment, Ministry of Labour

Ibu Venetia Danes, Deputy for Protection of Women's Rights, Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection

Ms Michiko Miyamoto, Director ILO Indonesia and Timor Leste

Ms Sabine Machl, Country Representative of UN Women Indonesia and Liaison to the ASEAN

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,


I would like to thank UN Women and ILO for organising the event today.

It is my pleasure to be with you all today and to represent the European Union at the Consultative Dialogue that aims to identify priority interventions that are necessary in designing design specific action to ensure safe and fair migration for Indonesian female migrant workers.

The EU is a global leader and pioneer in promoting gender equality, full respect for women and girls' rights and their empowerment worldwide, around the world both in stable situations and situations of conflict. Gender equality is a core value of the EU and a key priority in its internal and external policy. The Gender Action Plan 2016 – 2020, the Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality (2016-2019) and the EU Global Strategy are the main cornerstones of our gender mainstreaming efforts internally and externally, with gender equality, women's empowerment and women, peace and security as cross-cutting issues to be included in all EU policies, strategies and projects.

Internationally, the EU promotes and supports the full implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action, as well as the Programme of Action on the International Conference on Population and Development (ICDP) and the outcomes of their review conferences. EU engagement on gender equality and women's empowerment in conflict situations also forms part of the EU's implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. The Women, Peace and Security agenda has been set out in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) and seven follow-up Resolutions, the latest being United Nations Security Council Resolution 2242 (2015).

There are several achievements to be highlighted during the past few years. First, in June 2017 the EU signed the Council of Europe's Istanbul Convention, the European Union strengthens its existing legal framework and capacity to act globally and in our region to eliminate violence against women and girls. The Istanbul Convention, explicitly recognises violence against women as a human rights violation.

Secondly, the EU's development assistance is increasingly being used to advance the rights of women and girls as clearly set out in the recently adopted European Consensus on Development, which contributes to the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the SDGs. We currently support actions for increased women’s leadership, political participation and economic empowerment, for combatting sexual and gender-based violence, and for responsiveness of plans and budgets to gender equality. The European Consensus underlines our commitment to ensuring a gender perspective across all of our policies.

Thirdly, the EU has taken over the leadership of "Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies", a global initiative bringing together more than 60 States, international organisations and NGOs to make sure that all humanitarian actors work together to prevent and mitigate gender-based violence, from the earliest onset of a crisis. All EU-funded humanitarian aid operations are required to conduct a gender analysis which takes into account the differentiated needs and capacities of women, girls, boys and men. This way we ensure that the EU's humanitarian aid reaches the most vulnerable, responds adequately to their specific needs and does no harm.

Lastly, during the General Assembly Ministerial week, the EU and UN launched a historic initiative called "Spotlight Initiative" to end violence against women and girls. With an investment of 500 million euros, the EU has committed put considerable financial and political resources to help eliminate violence affecting such a large proportion of women and girls worldwide. It reaffirms our commitment to this issue but also to multilateralism and to the good that can be achieved when the EU and the UN join forces to make change happen. The Spotlight initiative will be put to action in five regions of the world: Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific and it will work in support of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Under the framework of the EU-UN "Spotlight Initiative" to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, the EU is funding a EUR 25 million programme (5 years starting January 2018) aiming at safe and fair labour migration for women migrant workers in the ASEAN region. Together with ILO and UN WOMEN, the EU will work with the Indonesian government, community-based organisations and service providers to improve labour laws, access to services and information. The programme will also aim at improving data and knowledge on the rights and contributions of current, potential and returnee women migrant workers in Indonesia and other ASEAN countries. A Regional Programme Advisory Committee and a National Programme Advisory Committee will be set up for consultations with stakeholders and approval of work plans.

In Indonesia context, Indonesia has shown its commitment to further ensure protection of domestic migrant workers and ending violence against women.

Indonesia is a State Party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and has made intensive efforts to advance women’s rights, including the passing of the Domestic Violence Law number 23 of 2004. Moreover, President Joko Widodo as a HeForShe champion has committed to eliminating violence against women and girls in Indonesia.

Indonesia is the home country of millions of domestic migrant workers. I would like to extend congratulation to the Government of Indonesia on its first examination in the UN Committee on the Rights of Migrant, in which one of the recommendations is to ratify the ILO Convention no. 189 on Domestic Workers. Another positive development was the adoption, after seven years of deliberations, of a revised law on the protection of migrant workers in October 2017. This law is also a great example of close cooperation with CSOs.

Taking into consideration these positive and encouraging developments in Indonesia, we are certain that the project will contribute to Indonesia's efforts to further ensure the protection of its migrant workers, particularly female migrant workers, and to end violence against women in line with SDGs 5: gender equality of the Agenda 2020.

I wish you best of luck for these two days consultative dialogue and we look forward to work with Indonesia to make labour migration safe and fair for Indonesian female migrant workers through this very important project.

Thank you for your attention. Terima kasih.