08 July 2011, Manila –ATUC Leaders, the ITUC-AP, and the ILO met to discuss challenges in labor migration in the ASEAN — four years after the adoption of the historic “ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers” (January 2007), followed by the establishment of the “Committee on the Implementation of the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers” (July 2007), and the “The ASEAN Charter” (November 2007), which provides for the creation of a human rights body and the observance of basic freedoms of the people, including those of migrant workers.
“Migrant Protection: Can the ASEAN Walk the Talk? Can Trade Unions Lead the Way?” –a Think Paper prepared for ATUC provided a background and stimulus for the discussion of promoting decent work for migrant workers in the ASEAN and recommended action for trade unions.
ATUC adopted a Trade Union Statement for to the 2011 ASEAN Forum on Labor Migration. It calls on the ASEAN to take immediate action on:
- the recognition and accreditation of the ASEAN Trade Union Council (ATUC) as a dialogue partner in ASEAN related processes, programs and activities.
- The constitution of an ASEAN Tripartite Mechanism for the preparation and development of the ASEAN Instrument on Migrant Workers, as well as other labor-related instruments and policies.
- Ensuring meaningful participation of trade unions, particularly ATUC, in the development of an ASEAN instrument on migration and in ASEAN mechanisms and processes
- the ratification by the ASEAN governments of all the core ILO Conventions as well as migration-related Conventions and Recommendations, including ILO Convention 189, and ensure that their national labour laws, especially laws governing migrant workers, are harmonized with the standards contained in these ILO Conventions and Recommendations.
- Urging member states to give priority focus on migrant workers concerns in Decent Work Country Programs.
- the ASEAN Member States establishing appropriate and accessible offices to handle migrant workers’ concerns and queries.
- an ASEAN data base on migration, with internet links with the different ASEAN labor ministries and the public, to be set up by the ASEAN Secretariat immediately.
- an “ASEAN Hotline” on Migrant Workers to be set up, in conjunction with the ASEAN Declaration and the Foreign Ministers’ Guidelines on Assistance to ASEAN nationals in crisis situations.
Indonesian affiliates CITU-KSBI and KSBSI will hand over the Statement to the ASEAN, through Secretary General Dr. Surin Pitsuan. All affiliates are requested to hand over the Statement to their respective Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Labor.
NTUC President and ATUC Vice President John de Payva presided over the discussions. Bro. Bambang Surjono (CITU/KSBI, Indonesia); Sis. Kathleen Koa (ITUC-AP), representing Bro. Noriyuki Suzuki; Bro. Shigeru Wada (ILO-ACTRAV, Bangkok); Bro. Ariel B. Castro (ILO-ACTRAV, New Delhi); Bro. Cedric R. Bagtas (TUCP, Philippines); Bro. Jose Sonny Matula (FFW, Philippines); Bro. Danilo Laserna (FFW, Philippines); Bro. Rafael E. Mapalo (TUCP, Philippines), Sis. Anna Lee Fos (TUCP and ATUC Secretariat) attended the meeting. (*rem, 07.08.2011)
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