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“The ILO will strengthen work with you social partners to inject social dimension into ASEAN integration” said Mr. Guy Ryder, Director General of the International Labor Organization (ILO), in a meeting with ASEAN Trade Union Council (ATUC) leaders on 25 October 2015 in Singapore.

This was in response to the challenges of giving decent work and promoting fundamental ILO conventions in the advent of the ASEAN Economic Community raised during the ATUC presentation by Bro. Gopal Kishnam of the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC).

On exploitation of migrant workers, Mr. Guy Ryder said that the ILO focuses on the legal and orderly processes of migration from planning and preparing for labor migration to reintegration. Social partners and stakeholders also play a key role in promoting the orderly processes in all stages of migration in both origin and destination countries.

On the low level of ratification of ILO core conventions in ASEAN, the ILO Director General said that it is one of the priorities of ILO to encourage the ratification of core conventions in the region. Countries that have not ratified the core conventions have to report to ILO why they have not ratified the conventions every four years.

Thirty-one leaders and representatives (seven women) from 18 ATUC affiliates, ILO and International Trade Union Confederation – Asia Pacific (ITUC-AP) attended the meeting. The meeting was organized in cooperation with ILO Bureau for Workers’ Activities (ACTRAV), ITUC-AP, and Singapore NTUC.