IOM Donates PPE, Hygiene Kits and Handwashing Stations to Shelters Hosting Returning Migrant Workers in Indonesia

Indonesia – The COVID-19 pandemic has heavily impacted the return of a significant number of migrant workers to Indonesia.  The National Body of Protection of Indonesian Migrant Worker recorded that at least 33,503 Indonesian migrant workers have returned by March 2020 amid the lockdown measures around the world. Some of them are assisted in government-run and community-based shelters along the routes, where containing the spread of the virus is crucial to the fight against the pandemic. 

With funding support from the UK government, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has handed over personal protective equipment (PPE) and hygiene kits to a COVID-19 Task Force located in Southwest and West Sumba, Indonesia. The PPE has allowed the Task Force to distribute the supplies and install the handwashing stations to reduce the risk of infection at four shelters available to returning Indonesian migrant workers in vulnerable situations. 

“Shelters during self-quarantine become an essential and life-saving form of support, especially for returnees in vulnerable situations. PPE enables shelter staff to safely provide services to migrant workers and properly treat those infected,” said Dipti Pardeshi,  Chief of Mission for IOM in the United Kingdom (IOM UK).

“These crucial supplies help to ensure that migrants are included in our response to the pandemic for the safety and health of all,” she added.

The assistance to the COVID-19 Task Force in Sumba is part of IOM's efforts to support the Indonesian Government to mitigate and combat the COVID-19 pandemic at all levels. 

The provisions were  delivered through the ASPIRE project (Assessing Stigma for Prevention, Improved Response and Evidence Base) which is coordinated by IOM UK with/for? activities taking place in Indonesia and Ethiopia. 

Since the first COVID-19 case confirmed in Indonesia in March 2020, hoaxes and misinformation about COVID-19 spread rapidly, causing some returnee migrants and their families to face discrimination and stigma. 

Further, due to the economic and social impacts of the crisis, women and children have become exposed to increased risks and vulnerabilities. According to the National COVID-19 Task Force, cases of violence against women and children have increased by 75 percent during the pandemic. There have been 14,719 cases identified in total with various types of gender-based violence experienced by women and children.

To address the increased risk of stigmatization and gender-based violence, IOM and the Task Force jointly developed shelter management guidelines for staff working in these facilities, adopting victim rights-centered and gender-responsive approaches to ensure all treatments within the shelter respect human rights principles and avoid stigmatization.
 
The ASPIRE project will run to March 2021 and is funded by the UK Home Office Modern Slavery Innovation Fund (MSIF), phase 2.
 
For more information, please contact Among Pundhi Resi, National Programme Coordinator of Counter-Trafficking and Labour Migration Unit of IOM Indonesia, Email: aresi@iom.int