JAKARTA — Riyadh and Jakarta have agreed to resume hiring of Indonesian house workers to the Kingdom effective from Thursday and this is after a hiatus of 11 years.

The Saudi Deputy Minister of Human Resources and Social Development for Labor Dr. Abdullah Abuthunain and Indonesia’s Minister of Manpower Ida Fauziyah signed on Thursday an agreement for the ‘Single-Channel’ project to resume the recruitment of Indonesian domestic workers to Saudi Arabia in a number of professions. Under the deal, recruitment will be made through recruitment companies effective from the date of signing the agreement.

The agreement was concluded at a ceremony held in the island of Bali, in the presence of Saudi Deputy Minister for International Affairs Dr. Adnan Al-Naim, a technical team from the ministry, and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health, during their current official visit to the most populous Muslim country. The officials attended a number of technical meetings between the two sides during which they discussed topics of common interest in the labor market and the operational aspects of the new recruitment project.

This project comes within the framework of the keenness of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development to unify the channel for the recruitment of Indonesian domestic workers as well as to facilitate the recruitment process from Indonesia. This aims to protect the rights of all parties involved in the contractual relationship, and diversify the nationalities of domestic workers to serve the requirements and needs of the Saudi labor market.

The signing of the agreement is the outcome of the intensive efforts to break the deadlock with regard to the recruitment of house workers after a hiatus of 11 years. Indonesia suspended sending housemaids to Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region in 2011 following the execution of a housemaid after she was convicted of killing her Saudi employer. Later, Indonesia agreed with the Kingdom and other Middle Eastern countries to send domestic workers but the outbreak of coronavirus had delayed their arrival.

A few months ago, Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Indonesia had revealed that both countries were exploring the prospect of resuming recruitment of house workers. Indonesian domestic workers would no longer be recruited by individual employers but will be hired by companies that will deploy them in the Saudi labor market, the embassy sources said. During that time, Saudi Ambassador to Indonesia Issam Al-Thaqafi expressed hope that Jakarta would soon resume sending domestic workers to the Kingdom.

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