The way forward for the ASEAN community
ASEAN needs a long-term vision to gradually augment internal strength by being more flexible in implementing the principle of non-interference as well as more open to democratic values and human rights. Hence, ASEAN must emphasise its strong core values and identity, high levels of political and strategic trust and a deep convergence of interest. The ASEAN member states need to acknowledge that without building core values, ASEAN will lose its relevance in the medium and long term. This way ASEAN can enhance its internal ties and the member states will become more determined to defend the core values and interests of ASEAN.
Southeast Asia braces for change
The ILO is urging the Southeast Asian Nations to start planning and diversify their workforce since nine million people (mostly young women in the garment industry) have seen their jobs threatened by robots and automation. Singapore has integrated automation in expanding its economy. Other ASEAN countries should consider this aspect for the future of jobs. In Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Cambodia, about half of all the jobs could be automated in the next two decades, which makes it a priority in terms of workforce planning.
Revolution 4.0 challenges Asian countries seeking inclusive growth
The ongoing Fourth Industrial Revolution already marks evolutions in the way people live, communicate and work. It might harm developing economies instead of creating a promising future. It could cause job losses and rising inequality. Asia is the home of two thirds of the world’s extreme poor and the increase in demand for skilled workers would marginalize the less educated and low skilled, increasing the income gap. More human resource investment would allow the Fourth Industrial Revolution to be a real opportunity for development and equality.
Myanmar: National level certificate to be issued to skilled workers
The Ministry of Labour is taking steps to ensure that 5000 workers are issued with National-Level certificates to provide more skilled-workers for the country’s development. The certificate will be recognized in all ASEAN countries under the ASEAN Economic Community, guaranteeing connectivity through the skilled workers’ requirement. The certificate will ensure better working environment and appropriate wages to reduce poverty. The ministry will also ensure occupational safety and healthy working conditions for workers by introducing appropriate laws.
Singapore: Better insurance coverage for foreign domestic workers from October
Foreign domestic workers (FDWs) in Singapore will have better protection under the Personal Accident Insurance starting October 2017. The changes would make the FDWs happier, abler to sustain their families and increase their productivity. Death insurance will rise from SGD40,000 to SGD60,000 and the access to legal procedure to file claims against insurers will be made easier. These benefits will come at a slight increase of premiums on the employers.
The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the ASEAN Trade Union Council.
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