Scholars have devoted insufficient attention to Indonesiaâ€™s foreign policy on migrant worker protection, especially as mobilized in multilateral institutions. This article addresses such knowledge gaps by analyzing why Indonesia has, for almost two decades, persistently promoted the United Nations Migrant Worker Convention in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) despite constant pushback from migrant-receiving countries. It argues that Indonesiaâ€™s persistence is driven by its locally constituted meaning of migrant worker rights. In particular, this article advances the critical norms approach in international relations to demonstrate that its interpretation is influenced by â€œIndonesiaâ€™s normative baggage,â€ or past experiences with labour migration that have too frequently dealt with the exploitation of Indonesian citizens abroad. This normative baggage in turn shapes the countryâ€™s diplomacy and promotion of convention standards deemed appropriate for safeguarding Indonesian migrants in ASEAN. In presenting the argument, this article contributes to the study of labour migration by scrutinizing Indonesiaâ€™s foreign policy on migrant protection and unpacking norm interpretation processes that are necessary in international negotiations.