Press Release Bincang ASEAN “Transnational Activism for Migrant Workers in Asia: The Case of Indonesia and the Philippines”

Yogyakarta, October 26th 2018

Yogyakarta – On Friday, October 26, 2018, ASEAN Studies Center Universitas Gadjah Mada held the fourth edition of Bincang ASEAN 2018. Approximately 50 students and practitioners across Yogyakarta, Central Java and West Java registered on this Bincang ASEAN #4 held in BA 201 Room FISIPOL UGM on October 26th, 2018. On this edition, Ezka Amalia, MA (ASEAN Studies Center UGM Researcher) disseminatedher dissertation findings about “Transnational Activism for Migrant Workers in Asia: The Case of Indonesia and the Philippines”. This discussion also had Raissa Almira (ASEAN Studies Center UGM Research Intern) moderating.

Firstly, Ezka described the status quo of labor migration in Southeast Asia, specifically Indonesia and Philippines. She also characterized the detail of Indonesia as a migrant worker sending country and the regulations within the country managing the migrant protection. It includes the advocacy maneuvers of Indonesian migrant worker in articulating their peers’ voice. Consecutively, same explanations were also given concerning Philippines as major migrant sending country.

Simultaneously, the dissertation indeed also explains the migrant worker destination country: Hong Kong. She presented the statistics of Hong Kong as receiving country and the advocacy network of both Indonesian and Philippines migrant worker in that country, that is also known to have a prominent regulations protecting the foreigners working there. These explanations were followed by personal stories of migrant workers re-told by Ezka. 

At the end of the presentation, Ezka discloses the reason behind the difference of advocacy model done by Philippines and Indonesia concerning the migrant worker protection. The metric of the comparison was mainly the domestic structure the two countries. Specifically, Indonesia and Philippines has different civil society tradition and characteristic of network.


(Written by Rafyoga Jehan Pratama Irsadanar, research intern in ASEAN Studies Center UGM)