The proposed Asean framework to protect migrant workers’ rights is facing a tough road ahead as some Asean states like Malaysia and Singapore have expressed resistance to it from the onset, reports Jerrie M Abella of GMANews.TV
The Asean Committee for Migrant Workers (ACMW) Drafting Committee meets in Kuala Lumpur on 7 and 8 December 2009, hosted by the Ministry of Human Resources. The ACMW Drafting Committee comprising Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines, is in the process of drafting a Framework Instrument on the protection and promotion of migrant workers rights for Asean, in line with the principle affirmed by the ten Asean states, under the Bangkok Declaration on Irregular Migration 1999 and the Asean Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers.
Under the Bangkok Declaration, “regular migration and irregular migration should not be considered in isolation from each other”, and “migration, particularly irregular migration, should be addressed in a comprehensive and balanced manner, considering its causes, manifestations and effects, both positive and negative, in the countries of origin, transit and destination.”
Asean needs to change its mindset and perceive civil society as a partner in all its processes, especially in the drafting of the association’s Framework Instrument on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers, said a regional human rights group, the Task Force on Asean Migrant Workers, during the Second Asean Forum on Migrant Labour, hosted by the Thailand Labour Ministry and the Asean secretariat in Bangkok.