Weak regulations frequently cause Indonesian seafarers problems during their employment abroad, says a government official.
Indonesian seafarers, who have mostly worked on Taiwanese and South Korean vessels, have encountered problems similar to those experienced by 55 Indonesian seafarers who have been detained in Myanmar since last year for crossing the country's territorial border while fishing.
"The root problem is the weak regulations of Indonesia, South Korea and Taiwan. Authorities in the countries have admitted this," the director for Indonesian citizens protection and legal entities at the Foreign Ministry, Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, said during a press conference at the ministry on Thursday.
He said that agencies and ministries involved with the placement of the migrant workers in Indonesia had also agreed to establish a strong regulation that could integrate the related authorities' interests.
There were 606 cases involving Indonesian seafarers abroad in 2014, with 242 cases settled and the remaining cases unresolved.
Indonesia also observed 187 new cases in 2015, with 71 cases settled and the remaining cases still in progress, leaving the government with 580 cases to be settled in total.
Lalu also said that in most cases, there were indications of human trafficking in the recruitment of the workers and their working conditions.
He said that where these conditions existed, the workers should be released and treated as victims, in alignment with the Palermo protocols on human trafficking.