MANILA, Philippines — Southeast Asian leaders on Tuesday signed a landmark document advancing the interests and welfare of thousands of migrant workers in the region.
The heads of state of the ASEAN member-states signed the ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers during the 31st ASEAN Summit in Manila.
The implementation of the consensus would be subject to the respective laws of ASEAN member-states.
Among the provisions of the document are the following:
- Fair treatment of migrant workers with respect to gender and nationality
- Allows visitation rights by family members
- Prohibition of confiscation of passports and overcharging of placement or recruitment fees
- Protects against violence and sexual harassment in the workplace
- Respects right to fair and appropriate remuneration and benefits
- Right to join trade unions and association
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that the consensus would benefit the 212,435 Filipino migrant workers in Southeast Asia, majority of whom are employed in Singapore and Malaysia.
“In cases where Filipino migrant workers are imprisoned, they will have rights no less favorable than those applied to the local workers. They also have the right to file grievances with the relevant authorities in the countries they are working in,” Bello said.
Senior Labor officials of the ASEAN finalized the agreement during their retreat in Manila last August 25.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the ASEAN consensus will continuously evolve in years as it calls for the development of an action plan to concretize the implementation of the mandate. By Patricia Lourdes Viray
The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the ASEAN Trade Union Council.
- Renewed partnership to push for ‘decent work’ in Asean
- Weak labour productivity a threat to ASEAN’s potential
- H&M, Gap to probe violence, sex abuse in Indonesian and other Asian factories
- Unions expand into unfamiliar terrain as organizing turns to smaller workplaces
- Ministry to review nod for skilled foreigners
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
c/o Trade Union Congress of the Philippines
No. 2 Kalaw-Ledesma Circle, Tierra Verde 2, Tandang Sora, Quezon City 1116