Indonesian Consul General in Cape Town: Protection of Indonesian Seafarers is A Part Of State’s Responsibility

Cape Town, South Africa: Consul General RI Cape Town greeted 70 Indonesian crew members in a life skills class session on Wednesday night, April 18, 2018, at Seamen Club that was managed by The Mission to Seafarers. "Every Indonesian Mission is responsible to protect Indonesian citizens abroad, including Indonesian seafarers. Consulate General of Indonesia is ready to assist you in solving any criminal and civil law problems of Indonesian seafarers," stated the Consul General of Cape Town. He also underscored the need for the seafarers to understand the contract signed by them and be responsible for any legal consequences of the breach of contract. Conversely, KJRI Cape Town is ready to report criminal cases to the Indonesian police if there are shipping crew recruitment agencies proven to do misconducts.

In addition to information regarding legal facilitation by the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Cape Town, the Consul General of Cape Town also explained several other activities engage the seafarers. Among other things, breaking the fast with Islamic religious teachers and lecturers from Indonesia, Ied Mubarak feast, and the 17 August state ceremony.

Indonesian Consulate General has been running the life skill session as one of the empowerment efforts for Indonesian seafarers since 2011. The class mainly teaches communication skill in English to the crew. In its development, it has also become a sharing session of various information, among others are related to life in Cape Town, onboard safety issues, professionalism as seafarers, and seafarers' legal aspects.

Before concluding his speech, the Consul General reminded Indonesian crew to have a simple life, stay harmonious with other crews of the ship, and do not violate the local bylaws. He also invited Indonesian ABKs to not hesitate to consult with the Indonesian Consulate General in Cape Town on any matter either via phone or through WhatsApp group of ABK Indonesia Cape Town which is administered by Consulate General's staff. "I want the Indonesian seafarers to get to know each other, anytime we're abroad, we have to care for other fellow Indonesian citizens," he said.

Since 2018, the Consulate General of the Republic of Cape Town has had a special premise as a resting house for Indonesian transient seamen called Indonesian Seafarers Corner (ISC). The life skills class has been held twice in the ISC ever since. However, the building still serves really limited due to operational constraints from the lack of human resources serving Indonesian seafarers in the ISC on daily basis and its limited capacity to accommodate Indonesian seafarers, if there are more than 50 people (GR).​