ASEAN Framework Instrument for migrant workers must be legally binding (Press Release) Thu, Aug 06, 2009
Force on ASEAN Migrant Workers
ASEAN Framework Instrument for migrant workers must be legally binding, said
Task Force on ASEAN Migrant Workers
(Bangkok, 31 July 2009)
ASEAN needs to change its mindset and perceive civil society as a partner in
all its processes, especially in the drafting of the association’s Framework
Instrument on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers, said
a regional human rights group during the 2nd ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour,
hosted by the Thailand Labour Ministry and ASEAN secretariat in Bangkok.
Task Force on ASEAN Migrant Workers said “We applaud this initiative and we
hope that this kind of stakeholder dialogue can be sustained, expand its
participation and to be institutionalised within ASEAN. This process is very
helpful in building trust and confidence to achieve the people-centred ASEAN”.
Samydorai, the convener of the Task Force (TF-AMW) added that “millions of
migrant workers are seeking a better future for themselves and their families
by working abroad in ASEAN, and as economic integration intensifies leading to
the full economic integration of ASEAN by 2015, this number will grow.”
the Instrument, an agreement by ASEAN member countries should be legally
binding, in line with the new ASEAN Charter which has given the organisation a
theme of the two-day forum is “ASEAN Declaration on Migrant Workers: Achieving
its Commitments. It aims to move forward to achieve the ASEAN Declaration on
the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers.
forum, said to be ASEAN’s first broad-based consultation on labour migration
issues also aims to build trust and confidence through social dialogue among
the various stakeholders. Its participants included civil society
organisations, trade unions, employers associations, national human rights
institutions, governments, international and regional organizsations and the
ASEAN secretariat. This event is a prelude to the 3rd ASEAN Forum on Migrant
Labour planned for 2010 in Vietnam
as the next chair of ASEAN.
view of the current developments, Sinapan said “A new and fair deal is urgently
required for migrant workers in ASEAN by drafting and implementing the ASEAN
Framework Instrument on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant
would be much appreciative if the ASEAN Committee on Migrant Workers [ACMW]
members start to make reference in their deliberations to the civil society’s
proposal on the ASEAN Framework Instrument for the protection and promotion of
the rights of migrant workers,” he added.
we thank the ASEAN Secretariat for distributing copies to members of the ACMW
at the SLOM. Three countries informed us they received it and used it in the
negotiation. We also appreciate the Thai Ministry of Labour’s initiative to
distribute copies of the proposal to all participants at the 2nd ASEAN Forum on
Migrant Labour”, said Sinapan.
platform of more than 60 organisations working on migrant workers issues in
ASEAN also urges that ASEAN shall pay serious attention to recognise the
migrant workers’ rights, fully protect the rights of all migrant workers
especially those who are in vulnerable employment, regularise their status, and
lower the costs of legal migration.
calls for ASEAN member countries to include all migrant workers and their
families in the coverage of the ASEAN Framework Instruments. Further more, the
task force calls for better monitoring and evaluation system to ensure that the
ASEAN Framework Instrument is effectively implemented.
has submitted the proposal to the ACMW members and ASEAN Secretariat in May
2009 during the Senior Labour Officials Meeting (SLOM).
civil society’s proposal to the ASEAN framework instruments has comprehensively
listed 192 recommendations covering the: 1) Obligations of receiving states; 2)
Obligations of sending states; 3) Joint obligations of receiving and sending
states; and 4) Commitments by ASEAN. This extensive document is a result of the
8 national consultations and 7 regional consultations from 2007 to 2009
involving more than 1,000 civil society participants in 8 member countries of
civil society ASEAN framework instrument proposal emphasises on needs for a) an
agreement to protect migrant workers rights and ensure that they are treated
with dignity and respect, and b) harmonisation of national laws to correspond
to ILO core labour standards, fundamental freedoms and rights at work.
web-link to the civil society proposal to the ASEAN framework of instrument,
please click http://www.workersconnection.org/downloads.php?RCID=7
2nd ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour’s recommendation covers the scope and
coverage of rights and timeline for the drafting committee to finalize the
draft which will be put forward to the annual meeting of the ACMW which will be
held in Thailand
in the last week of September 2009.
ASEAN Declaration on the protection and promotion of the rights of Migrant
workers recognises their sufferings and calls for: Article: 8. Promote fair and
appropriate employment protection, payment of wages, and adequate access to
decent working and living conditions for migrant workers; Article: 9. Provide
migrant workers, who may be victims of discrimination, abuse, exploitation,
violence, with adequate access to the legal and judicial system of the