JAKARTA • Last December, Asean launched its own Asean Community. Tariffs and non-tariff barriers between the 10 member countries have been gradually reduced. Investors and Asean nationals have been promised freer flow of goods, services, investment capital and skilled labour.
(But) there are several disconnects between Asean’s aspirations and reality. Only skilled labour migration is promoted through Asean. Targeted at eight professions, they are negligible as a proportion of its total employment. Most of the regional labour migration will continue to comprise the low- and medium-skilled.
More often than not, migrants do not receive similar treatment for healthcare and social security. The possibility of working abroad raises a question on how – or rather, where – one should save for retirement. One could take part in the host country’s pension scheme. What about contributing to one’s national social security scheme? Except for the Philippines, no other Asean country has provisions for its overseas workers under its social security schemes.
Focusing on the social is part and parcel of regional integration. Asean still lags behind other blocs with established multilateral social security agreements. It is high time it moves towards the promised “people-centred and socially responsible” Asean community. 26 March 2016
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What They Say About Us
- Working through the ASEAN Trade Union Council (ATUC), a number of labor groups from Southeast Asia have proposed the ASEAN Social Charter, which they see …
- Labour rights do not feature prominently on ASEAN’s agenda, but the ASEAN Trade Union Council (ATUC) is pushing for a social charter and a framework for the protection of migrant workers.
- ASEAN22 : The ASEAN Social Charter was designed by the ASEAN Trade Union Council (ATUC) and labour-friendly NGOs as a social counterpart to ASEAN’s economic
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