asa bkk 2017 oct resized

The International Trade Union Confederation–Asia Pacific (ITUC-AP), Arab Trade Trade Union Confederation (ArabTUC), South Asia Regional Trade Union Council (SARTUC) and Asean Trade Union Council (AseanTUC) agreed to establish a Migrant Resource Center (MRC) in Jordan in the Arab region during their coordination meeting in Bangkok, Thailand on 16 October 2017.

The Arab region has the largest concentration of migrant workers in the world. The rush influx of labor migrants saddles the Arab states with their inability or inflexibility to protect the rights and welfare of migrant workers, especially domestic workers. Sexual harassment, running away from employers, health concerns and absence of social security are some of the key issues facing domestic workers.

The MRC will provide legal assistance and shelter to migrant domestic workers initially from Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.

A brainstorming session decided that Jordan is the ideal location of a Migrant Resource Center in the Arab region. The country hosts migrant workers from both South and Southeast Asia and the office of the ArabTUC is located there. Its environment is more open to unions and setting up an MRC for migrant workers compared with other countries in the region.

ITUC-AP will seek funding from trade union solidarity support organizations and potential donors for an initial two-year period.

The coordination meeting was supported by the ITUC-AP to implement one of the priorities under the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the ArabTUC, SARTUC and AseanTUC.