group photo lm trng1Propose amendments to their unions’ constitutions to accept migrant workers as members, discuss portability of union membership and social protection, initiate or reinforce union to union and other stakeholders’ cooperation, and push for the ratification of ILO migration conventions (C97, C143, C181, C189).

These were among the common priorities that participants identified in the recently concluded ACTRAV-ITCILO Trade Union Training on Labour Migration “Mainstreaming ILS and SDGs in Trade Union Initiatives on Decent Work for Migrant Workers” on 5-7 August 2019 in Kathmandu, Nepal.

group work3These priorities affirmed the resolved of trade unions to improve the situation of migrant workers and were a response to Mr. Richard Howard, ILO Director for Nepal Country Office, who challenged the participants to stress areas of regional cooperation and the role of trade unions in fair labour migration at the opening session.

Ms. Binda Pandey, ILO Governing Body Member, laid out a trade union framework for the protection of migrant workers in the care economy while Mr. Shabari Nair, ILO Labour Migration Specialist for South Asia, linked the Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Global Compact for Migration with development and rights-based approaches in labour migration.

The South Asian Regional Trade Union Council (SARTUC) and the ASEAN Trade Union Council (ATUC) gave an overview of their inter-regional MoU with ArabTUC, ITUC-Africa, ITUC-Asia Pacific and TUCA. Realizing the MoU showed some progress and challenges in implementing the priority actions.

group workATUC also shared an initial analysis of the inquiries and complaints recorded in the ATUC Information System (ATIS) for Migrant Workers, an online platform to increase access to grievance mechanisms. An encouraging result: the ATUC affiliates’ focal points for labour migration obtained about US$35,000 monetary award for various complaints.

The participants tested ATIS 2.0, a simpler and easier-to-use version of ATIS, and proposed further improvements. ATIS 2.0 will be translated into Bahasa Indonesia, Burmese, Khmer, Lao, Thai and Vietnamese with the possibility of adding more languages in Asia, the Arab region, Africa and the Americas.

Bro. Rafael Mapalo of the ITCILO designed the training activity in consultation with the ILO Bureau for Workers’ Activities (ACTRAV) to strengthen trade union policies, programmes, and services for migrant workers.

Twenty (11 women) union leaders and activists from 13 countries in South and Southeast Asia participated in the training.