Task Force on ASEAN Migrant Workers
The Task Force on ASEAN Migrant Workers organized the workshop at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, on 21 February 2009. The Workshop was part of the programme of the ASEAN Peoples’ Forum. The ASEAN
Peoples’ Forum encourages civil society to engage on critical ASEAN
issues both among itself and with ASEAN institutions.
The workshop theme: \"The Role of Civil Society and
Trade Unions in the Implementation of the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection
and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers.\" The Workshop was attend by more then 60 participants.
- ASEAN policies and instruments on migrant
workers must cover all migrant workers equally, including documented and
undocumented migrant workers, as stipulated in Bangkok Declaration on
Irregular Migration adopted in 1999.
- ASEAN must ensure the regularization of
undocumented migrant workers and their families in receiving countries and
make process of migrant registration and obtaining legal documents more
available, accessible, and affordable.
Member Governments should harmonize their labour laws and policies with
the core international labour standards of the ILO, thereby applying a
“decent work” approach to migrant workers.
Governments must ensure thorough application of the law to
recruitment agencies. Migrant domestic workers must be
recognized and protected under national labour laws as a matter of
Member Governments must harmonize their laws and policies towards migrant
workers and their families to ensure compliance with the UN conventions
that they have ratified, especially the Convention on the Elimination of
Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of
the Child (CRC). We believe that
affording universal access to education and health for migrant families is
beneficial to both the migrants and the public health and education systems
of the receiving country.
workers and their families have the right to participate in determining
all policies governing their social, economic and cultural lives. Therefore, ASEAN states should ensure
the right of migrant workers to form associations, organizations, and
- ASEAN member states must recognize their joint and mutual
responsibility for protecting the rights of migrant workers and address
issues facing migrant workers in a spirit of reciprocity and
accountability in line with the vision of a “caring and sharing”
- ASEAN must recognize that increasing number
of migrant workers are women and institute gender-sensitive policies to
address the special concerns of women migrant workers.
- As ASEAN integrates, it must increasingly
shift policy towards migrant workers away from a state-centric model to an
integrated ASEAN regional model.
States must recognize that policy towards migrant workers
necessarily involve cross-border cooperation and engagement. Therefore, ASEAN cannot permit migrant
worker policies and standards to be constrained by
ASEAN’s non-interference practices.
- ASEAN must institutionalize people’s
participation in all processes involving the development of policies and
agreements on migrant workers.
Therefore, the Task Force on ASEAN Migrant Workers should be
recognized as a full partner by the ASEAN Committee on Migrant Workers
(ACMW), ASEAN Senior Labour Officials Meeting (SLOM) and ASEAN Labour
Ministers Meeting (ALMM). The Task
Force must be included in the ACMW’s drafting of the forthcoming Instrument
on migrant workers in line with Article 22 of the ASEAN Declaration on the
Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers.