Task Force on ASEAN Migrant Workers
Protecting and promoting the rights of migrant workers

The Task Force on ASEAN Migrant Workers (TF-AMW) comprises trade unions, human rights and migrant rights non-governmental organisations, and migrant worker associations. It is aimed at supporting the development of a rights-based framework for the protection and promotion of the rights of migrant workers, in line with ASEAN's Vientiane Action Plan.

The TF-AMW welcomes the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers as an important step forward to protect the human and labour rights of migrant workers within the ASEAN region. THE TF-AMW Civil Society Proposal: ASEAN Framework Instrument on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers was formally proposed to the ASEAN Senior Labor Officials Meeting in Vientiane, Laos, in May 2009. The Framework Instrument was drafted, reviewed, revised, and finalized in a bottom-up process of 8 national consultations and 7 regional consultations attended by the major trade union, NGO, and community-based organization networks in ASEAN in 2007-2008.

The TF-AMW views that migrant workers are not commodity but human beings.  From this perspective, migrant workers are seen as human beings with rights and dignity.  The TF-AMW calls on ASEAN Countries to uphold and implement the highest standards in labor rights including decent work and occupational health and safety standards, equal pay for equal work, freedom of association, right to form and join trade unions and associations, social protection - social security based on non-discrimination and gender equality principles.

ASEAN includes both major labor importing countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Brunei, and major exporting countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam. In accordance with the Vientiane Action Plan (VAP), the ASEAN Committee on Migrant Worekrs has started discussions on the elaboration of an ASEAN Instrument on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers. December 18th, 2009,  the TF-AMW launched an important resource book for the campaign to achieve a comprehensive ASEAN agreement that will protect the human rights of migrant workers. The book features the full text of the civil society ASEAN Framework Instrument on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers. The book also features the full text of each of the final national consultations statements from Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.   TF-AMW also included key letters and statements made to ASEAN officials and national governments on various aspects of the ASEAN led process to fulfill the promise of the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers. 

Senior ASEAN official Donald Tambunan wrote the introduction of the resource book, showing the ASEAN Secretariat’s support for processes like this to bring the involvement of ASEAN peoples in the organization.   He said that “The development and publication of this document is yet more evidence of the strong interest of ASEAN civil society to promote the ASEAN Community building process.  The ASEAN Secretariat therefore congratulates the TF-AMW for this effort. We would like to encourage the TF-AMW to continue its engagement with ASEAN through the consultation process on the protection and promotion of the rights of migrant workers at the national and regional levels.”

The TF-AMW encourages the governments to develop their policies and agreement on migration using any and all of civil society’s proposals, and we urge our fellow civil society activists to join the TF-AMW’s lobbying and advocacy efforts for adoption of the civil society proposal.  

Copies of the publication are available from Sinapan Samydorai, the Convener of the TF-AMW, who can be contacted at  fax: + 65 6425 0709 ; email: samysd@yahoo.com or from the Forum Asia office at  fax: +662 653 2942; email: info@forum-asia.org; office address: 246 Times Square Building, 12 Floor, Room 12-01 Sukhumvit Road, between Soi 12-14, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110, Thailand. Electronic copies of  the Civil Society Proposal can also be mailed out in response to emails to the Convener of the TF-AMW at: samysd@yahoo.com

Please download PDF format:
TF-AMW Civil Society Proposal: ASEAN Framework Instrument on the protection and promotion of the rights of migrant workers https://workersconnection.s3.amazonaws.com/old/Resources_72/book_tf-amw_feb2010.pdf