Indonesian seamen will soon have Seafarers Identity Documents (SIDs), which will allow them to move around freely in International waters. The Indonesian government has come up with a ratification of an International Labor Organization convention, which allows the seafarers to move freely on International waters with the help of a Biometric ID.
A biometric ID card is a method where a machine can scan and remember the unique characteristics of a human body and remember the same to recognize the person. The characteristics like fingerprints cannot be replicated and hence, biometric IDs are considered to be safer.
If the Indonesian government ratifies the 2003 Convention 185 on Seafarers Identity Documents (SIDs), the government will need to issue new biometric SIDs for more than 35,000 Indonesian seafarers working on vessels flying both Indonesian and foreign flags. Also, the convention will have to recognize the seafarers’ SIDs and let them enter their territories for short shore leaves without visas.
To protect Indonesian seafarers overseas, the House of Representatives endorsed the bill on the convention’s ratification in a plenary meeting. According to a report in the Jakarta Post, the Chairwoman of the House’s Commission IX for labor and health issues said the ratification not only showed Indonesia’s commitment to implementing international labor standards, but also encouraged job seekers to work with shipping companies to reduce unemployment and improve the country’s income through remittances from seafarers.
After the September 11 attacks, U.S. and Britain had rejected Indonesian seamen entering into their respective territories. But this new system of identification will identify the fishermen properly, making it safer for the governments to allow the fishermen into their territories.
In March 2004, the ILO had approved a biometric verification system that provides a more rigorous response to the need for increased security in the maritime industry. When this system is implemented, two fingerprints of a seafarer will be turned into an internationally standardized 2-D bar code on the SID. This will protect Indonesian workers working in International waters. Transportation Minister Jusman Safii Djamal said he will soon meet Transmigration Minister Erman Suparno to coordinate the issuance of SIDs for all Indonesian seafarers.
Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers whitepapers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users.