Easier access to complaints mechanism helps provide direct services to migrant workers, especially those in distress. By allowing the public to post inquiry or report complaint online, the ASEAN Trade Union Council (ATUC) and its affiliates are narrowing the gap of providing justice to migrant workers. The information then goes to a database which makes proper documentation and tracking the progress of migrant workers’ inquiries and complaints easier.

This was the highlight of the Training of ATUC Focal Points for Migrant Labour and Information System for Migrant Workers on 8-12 December 2016 in Manila, Philippines. The ATUC affiliates’ focal points walked through the process from making an inquiry to monitoring the progress of complaint and generating reports using the online ATUC Information System (ATIS) for Migrant Workers.

Training of focal points on ATIS database in Manila (3)

The database would improve and determine appropriate services to migrant workers. The database comes with three standard forms – Standard Inquiry Form, Standard Complaint Form and Standard Monitoring Form. The information in the standard forms would guide the focal points in collecting data that would help address the concerns of migrant workers.

In the opening session, Brother Ariel Castro of the International Training Centre of the ILO (ITCILO) shared that the Centre would start providing a two-week Global Workers Academy on Migration to help strengthen trade union services for migrant workers. For his part, Brother Pong-Sul Ahn of ACTRAV in the ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific emphasized the relevance of ratifying migrant labour conventions, social protection, organizing and cooperation among unions in destination and origin countries as key in addressing the needs of migrant workers.

Training of focal points in Manila

In his remarks, Brother Ruben Torres, the ATUC General Secretary, assured the participants that ATUC would further strengthen its capacity building programs for affiliates in handling migrant workers’ concerns. Brother Khalid Hassan from the ILO Office in Manila recalled ILO support to ATUC in developing the online database and other activities. He challenged the participants to fully use the database and organize migrant workers to provide direct and appropriate services.

Working in groups, the focal points committed to using the accompanying forms of the database and discussed how to get information and bring the complaints mechanism closer to migrant workers. They also identified which priority actions from the ATUC inter-union agreement to focus on when returning to their organizations.

The ITCILO/ACTRAV supported this activity.