Southeast Asia • Indonesia

Scaling up community-based initiative for migrant workers: Early protection in their villages in East Lombok

Poverty and a lack of job opportunities in many communities on the island of Lombok push people to migrate to seek better economic prospects; a large percentage of these migrants often become victims of human traffickers. Together with our partner organization – ADBMI, we are implementing a project to protect migrating women and men.

Members of the migrant women's group, "Pada Patuh" in Ketapan Raya Village, hold a discussion with children of migrant women to identify and address problems. (Photo: AWO International)Members of the migrant women's group, "Pada Patuh" in Ketapan Raya Village, hold a discussion with children of migrant women to identify and address problems. (Photo: AWO International)

The island Lombok belongs to the Indonesian province Nusa Tenggara Barat, where the poverty rate is particularly high and the standard of education low. Clean water and sufficient food are not very accessible. And the local labour market is notably weak. Thus, every year around 40,000 men and women say goodbye to their families and move abroad to work. In our project communities, this figure is up to 15 percent of the population. Looking at it on the surface-level, this doesn't seem like a negative occurrence as migrant workers are often able to provide for the livelihood of the whole family. However, labour migration very often has serious social implications; many people go abroad undocumented and thus put themselves in serious danger. Exploitation, abuse and human trafficking are part of the migrants' reality.

2010 Indonesian government statistics report that around 82 percent of migrant workers from Nusa Tengara Barat have only basic schooling. The majority are women who are employed as domestic workers. Due to their employment in private households, they are hardly protected from abuse, violence and exploitation. Many stories shared by these migrants recount strict curfews, withdrawal of passports, physical violence and sexual abuse. Sometimes they are forced to sleep on the ground and do not receive clean drinking water or too little food.

Numerous placement agencies take advantage of the economic hardship of these job-seeking women and lure them with enticing offers. Unfortunately, far too often they end up in exploitative working conditions and become victims of human trafficking. These type of job seekers are often unaware of the regular processes for migration and are thus oblivious to the dangers.

Education and sustainable protection

ADBMI was founded in the year 2000 by human rights activists, families of Indonesian migrant workers, former migrant workers and local women activists from East Lombok.  The community driven formation of ADBMI and its localized approach have enabled the organization to sync well with project beneficiaries and stakeholders alike fostering solid relationships.  

As West Nusa Tenggara Province, including the East Lombok district, is a significant source of migrant workers – as mentioned previously, AWO International together with ADBMI intends to raise the community organizations’ awareness and knowledge on the topic of undocumented migration amongst their fellow citizens. 

The main strategy that this project will utilize is centered on community-based advocacy carried out by community-based groups (CBGs) in 5 sub-districts (Terara, Keruak, Pringgasela, Wanasaba, Suralaga) and 5 villages (Suradadi, Ketapang Raya, Pringgasela Timur, Wanasaba, Anjani) in East Lombok. CBGs capacity will be increased through workshops on organizational development, advocacy, legal aid, counselling, networking, fund raising, mediation and litigation. The project also aims to ensure that policies for the protection of women migrant workers are implemented by the crafting and passing of village regulations. The project further seeks to sustainably forge cooperation between the CBGs and the Integrated Service Center for Women and Children Empowerment (P2TP2A) towards accessing public village funds to support women migrant workers programs.

Project information

ProjectProtection of migrant women workers from human trafficking and gender-based violence
Place/RegionLombok Timur (East Lombok) – specifically in Suradadi, Terara; Ketapang Raya, Keruak, Pringgasela Timur, Pringgasela; Wanasaba; Anjani Suralaga
PartnerADBMI Foundation (Advokasi Buruh Migran Indonesia)
Target group

Migrant workers and their families; Community-Based Organizations in the 5 project villages; victims of human trafficking and other violations; relevant local government officials – specifically members of the village representative board (BPD) and villag

  • Improving the situations of migrant workers in the 5 target villages by employing safe migration practices
  • Ensuring the proper implementation of inclusive protection for migrant workers and their families
  • Increasing  the economic resilience of migrant families
Budget81.807 Euro p. a.

You might also be interested in