Indonesia has been severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The lack of a centralized and adequate government response has led to uncoordinated responses, including a lockdown on Jakarta and business-as-usual in mines and agricultural sector. The informal sector and overseas workers are hit the hardest. Trade unions are now trying to balance health security and the economic implications to assist Indonesian workers. At the same time, the relationship between the government and civil society continues to worsen as trade unions are accusing the state of using the pandemic to push legislation that would otherwise lead to mass protests. The Netherlands could assist Indonesia by putting more emphasis on safe sanitary facilities – a necessity to combat the virus and one of the focal points in the Netherlands foreign policy towards Indonesia. Also, Dutch companies could step up to create awareness and monitor any exploitation within the value chain caused by COVID-19 measures.
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