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CSO Statement for the 4th ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labor
(Regional)
Tue, Oct 25, 2011

Civil Society’s Statement for the 4th ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour
24 October 2011, Bali Indonesia 

   We, 33 civil society organizations from Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, have participated in the Civil Society’s Strategic Meeting to the 4th ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labor (AFML), organized by the Indonesia Working Group on ASEAN Migrant Workers (IWGAMW) and Task Force on ASEAN Migrant Workers (TF-AMW) from 22-23 October 2011 in Kuta-Bali, Indonesia to come up with inputs for the 4th AFML being held in Bali from 24 to 25 October 2011.

    This ASEAN forum will be looking at the implementation of the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of Rights of Migrant Workers, drafting of the ASEAN instrument. This meeting will, amongst others, focus on two areas: a) promoting more harmonious relations between host populations and migrant workers; and b) the return and reintegration of migrant workers, and the development of sustainable alternatives to migration in countries of origin. 

Civil society's priority recommendations to a) Promote Understanding, Harmony and Rights
of Migrant Workers are as follows:
 
   

  1. A precondition to gender-sensitive harmony is the respect, recognition and protection of human rights of all migrant workers, regardless of legal status, occupation and social status, etc. -- including the recognition of domestic work as work (according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention on Domestic Work);

  2. For all migrant workers to have equal access to treatment and services;

  3. For destination country governments to make available in all possible languages the laws and procedures for migrant workers;

  4. To have ONLY ONE employment contract (which is also readily available in the migrant workers' language) in which the employer is obliged to submit to the government;

  5. For destination country governments to mandatorily give notices on workers’ rights, privileges (i.e. access to health and safety) to all migrant workers through pamphlets and information materials in the migrant workers' languages;

  6. To oblige destination country governments to allow migrant workers to form, join and lead labour unions and associations for collective empowerment;
  7. To ensure employment relationship by direct hiring, that is most beneficial to migrant workers;

  8. To prohibit labour-outsourcing companies, recruitment agencies and labor suppliers from being made employers of migrant workers;

         a. Direct hiring is the defined as the direct employment relationship between employers
        (owners/operators/end-users/principal employers) and workers to the exclusion of third
         parties including labour suppliers;

  1. To not economically exploit migrant workers;

  2. To provide tools for capacity building to migrant workers (to have independent migration – learn to organize;

  3. To include legal status, occupation, and social status;

  4. For all government agencies (i.e. police, immigration, labor) to have available, qualified persons to serve as interpreters or provide assistance;

  5. For destination country governments to coordinate with country of origin governments (through consulates/embassies) and other existing Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and service providers to ensure provision of translation (and other services) to migrant workers;

  6. To encourage local and migrant trade unions and associations to reach out to and organize migrant workers;

  7. For the ILO to open and facilitate migrant workers organizations to participate and be involved in the tripartite process;

  8. To oblige the origin country governments to provide centers of information and assistance to ALL migrant workers, their families and communities;

  9. For both origin and destination country governments to develop information technology (IT) to monitor on cases of sexual harassment, violations committed against migrant workers as well as those migrants in jail; that this IT system be decentralized and distributed to different areas;

  10. For migrant workers to have access to 24-hr migrant workers' help hotline;

  11. To abolish excessive working hours for all migrant workers;

  12. Migrants in detention – To abolish death penalty and all forms of torture against migrants in detention, and until then, for destination country government to coordinate with origin country governments regarding migrants in detention; and

  13. For attaches from origin country governments to monitor migrants in jail and ensure concrete measures to provide all forms of assistance and services to them.

 

Civil society recommendations on b) Strategies for More Effective Return and Reintegration, and Sustainable Alternatives to Migration

 

1.      For all migrant workers to be given all forms of remuneration and entitlements (i.e. benefits, compensation) prior to their return, with documentation (written proof) from the host country government (i.e. immigration or labor department);

2.      To avoid arrest, detention and deportation for immigration irregularities where possible. But in cases where deportation of migrant workers is carried out, for ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), ASEAN Commission on Women and Children (ACWC), ASEAN Committee on Migrant Workers (ACWC), and governments to monitor the process to ensure the dignity and safety of migrant workers during these processes; and to ensure that there is NO mass deportation;

a.       To abolish repatriation companies;

3.   To ensure protection of migrant workers' rights in the national development program of governments from both countries of origin and destination countries

a.       For all members of ASEAN to promote livelihood options, both at home countries and abroad, to all migrant workers, especially for women migrant workers. To ensure that women have access to all forms of education (i.e. health and reproductive), resources and choices in employment;

b.      To ensure state budgetary allocation by origin country governments for MW protection and services;

4.      To support the development of mechanisms which provide access to justice for migrant workers across and beyond borders. These would include, among others, specialized services, interpretation services, legal assistance, shelter services, and the rights of migrant workers to work during legal process;

5.      For all ASEAN member states to ensure the inclusion of undocumented migrants and families of all migrants in the ASEAN;

6.    For sending country governments to abolish separate terminals for migrant workers in all ports;

7.  To ensure that migrants who have been trafficked are entitled to protection and empowerment services and that there should be no deportation or detention of victims of trafficking, witnesses, and other migrants affected by raids;

8.      To provide legal aid and integrated services (i.e. shelter, socio-psychological services, etc.) to all migrant workers, regardless of status (both undocumented and documented) in both countries of origin and destination;

9.      For all stateless migrants to be given legal aid and all integrated services by both origin and destination country governments, and for them to have the right to choose their country of residence;

10.  To stop all forms of extortion, corruption and discrimination against all migrant workers in all processes, including reintegration;

11.  To uphold migrants’ right to just wages;

12.  To prohibit employers and agencies in destination countries to unlawfully deduct wages of migrant workers; and

13.  To develop social security systems which include migrants (including long-term occupational diseases).

We call on ASEAN to incorporate these recommendations into the ASEAN instrument on the Protection and Promotion of Rights of Migrant Workers, and all other relevant instruments.

 For and on behalf of the 33 civil society organizations.



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