Tips & tricks


Before departure: 

  • Be careful when choosing a sending agency make sure that they are registered at your local BP3TKI, or ask a local NGO that handles migrant worker issues
  • Be wary of promises of easy work with big wages! Working abroad needs tough work and determination. Do not become a victim of human trafficking!
  • Human trafficking perpetrators are not always strangers who are part of a syndicate. They could be members of your family, neighbours, or even friends.
  • Ask how much you will be paid, how much of your salary will be deducted to cover costs, and for how long, to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of debt bondage
  • Make a bank account before departing, so you can send money home
  • Give contact information of the sending agency in Indonesia and your future employer to you family, so they know who to contact in case they lose touch with you
  • Make sure you receive enough training! 200-600 hours, depending which country you will work in. The agency is obligated to train you in skills and language, but should not hold you in the training center any longer than necessary. Ask the agency how long you will be staying there and inform your family
  • Make a plan Plan how you will manage your income. Ideally, the money you save from working abroad should be managed well, and possibly used to start a business. Discuss this with your family and make sure everyone agrees and sticks to the plan


While abroad:

  • Report to the nearest Indonesian Embassy or Consulate Office! This is one of the first things you must do. If the Indonesian representatives know you are in the country, it will be easier for them to keep track and help you in the future
  • Keep your important documents on hand! Such as your passport, visa, and working permit, especially if you plan to go outside your workplace. Every migrant worker has the right to hold their own documents, but if your agency or employer insists that you hand them over, make sure you have your own copies.
  • Keep the numbers and addresses of the Indonesian Embassy/Consulate, the police office, or a local NGO, in case you run into trouble and need help. Religious institutions such as churches, mosques, and temples are also good places to look for help
  • Buy a mobile phone and contact your family routinely, at least once a month - Know your rights! Your working hours, holidays, and job description are all written in your contract. If your employer asks you to do any more than what is in the contract, you can report them to your agency or the Indonesian embassy. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself!
  • Work hard, work well, and be honest Many ex-migrant workers agree that honesty is important. Try to build your employer's trust, and hopefully they will treat you well.
  • Send money home Open a bank account and send your wages home (or ask your employer to do this). This way, you don't have to worry about losing any money or spending too much
  • Be frugal! You can save a lot of money while working abroad, but be wary of extra expenses when you go outside of your workplace. Food, clothes, and transportation are expensive abroad, and if you're not careful, you won't be able to save enough money


After returning home:

  • Guarantee your return ticket Make sure your transportation all the way home is booked and prepared. Ask family members to pick you up from the airport or harbour, to prevent other people from deceiving you and taking your money
  • If you had problems abroad and need counseling, try looking for a local NGO that provides help for ex-migrant workers
  • Money management Working abroad should not be a goal, but a way to start your own business, or develop whatever means of income that you already have. Try to create a new job opportunity for yourself and others