Thousands Bali Spa Workers in Colombo are Illegal


The Head of Agency for the Service, Placement and Protection of Indonesian Overseas Workers (BP3TKI) Denpasar Wayan Pageh mentioned that thousands overseas spa workers from Bali in Colombo are illegal.

“We just received a letter from Indonesian Embassy (KBRI) Colombo in Sri Lanka that asked to immediately solve the problem of Balinese overseas spa workers working in Colombo,” Pageh said.

He said that the letter mentioned that out of 1.400 spa workers from Bali only hundreds of them who were officially departed, the rest are illegal overseas workers.

“From our data, in Colombo there are 1.400 overseas spa workers from Bali, those who were officially departed from BP3TKI Denpasar are only hundreds. It means that more than 1.000 workers are illegal. This problem should be solved immediately,” he said.

Moreover, Pageh said that he received a letter from Indonesian Embassy Colombo, which said firstly KBRI Colombo appreciated the cooperation from BP3TKI Denpasar to send workers from Maldives to Sri Lanka.

Secondly, KBRI Colombo asked related parties to solve the problems of Balinese spa workers, especially those who work there illegally.

He thought that diplomatic efforts need to be conducted in guaranteeing protection for overseas spa workers and he will coordinate with KBRI Colombo.

“The plan is on February 22 represantatives of KBRI Colombo will meet BP3TKI Denpasar to get recent data about overseas workers departure and discuss solution for the problem,” he said.

He said that the illegal workers were departed independently or individually by using illegal agent and not through the official agent (PPTKIS) appointed by the government.

He explained that by using that way, the workers’ rights are not guaranteed and the users also don’t have any obligation in relation to give protection and the workers’ rights.

Pageh said that KBRI Colombo feels it is hard to protect the illegal workers’ right. The workers are also often exploited and their rights are disaffirmed.

“So far there is no abuse case toward spa workers from bali. But their rights are disaffirmed, for example their work visa is changed. They often work overtime but they don’t get paid. Those problems are forms of human exploitation,” he said.

To respond to the problem, Pageh said, in the future companies in Sri Lanka that disaffirm the spa workers’ rights will be put on the black list by KBRI and BP3TKI Denpasar.

It means that the companies can’t employ any spa workers from Bali and BP3TKI will not issue identity card of overseas worker (KTKLN).

Besides, he said that to discipline illegal overseas workers departure, the agencies that distribute overseas workers must have legality.

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