Regional CSO Consultation on the Implementation of the ASEAN Consensus

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28 February 2018

In February 2018, HOME was invited to the 'Regional CSOs Consultation on the Implementation of the ASEAN Consensus on the Rights of Migrant Workers', held on 20–21 February 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Organized by the Human Rights Working Group (HRWG), a coalition of human rights NGOs in Indonesia, the consultation aimed to gather CSOs in the region to discuss and develop a regional action plan on the ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers ('ASEAN Consensus'). This document was signed by ASEAN member states (AMS) in November 2017, even though AMS first drafted the Declaration of the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers in 2007. 

The two-day consultation involved NGO representatives from Brunei, Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam. During the working group discussions, participants debated controversial aspects of the consensus, including the fact that it is not a legally binding document. We burrowed through multiple sections of the ASEAN Consensus and eventually managed to reach our own consensus: a joint document, ‘Regional Civil Society Recommendations on the Implementation of the 2017 ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers’, signed by 16 NGOs in the region.

There are specific recommendations in the following areas:

  • Decent work and social protection;

  • Undocumented migrant workers and cross-cutting human rights issues;

  • Access to justice;

  • Information, empowerment and recruitment;

  • Repatriation and reintegration;

  • Cooperation among AMS and mechanisms;

  • Standard-setting and ratification of the CMW.

The joint statement also reiterates the need for a legally binding instrument, and for the ASEAN Consensus to be guided by international human rights norms and standards. Regional CSOs also emphasized the need for civil society engagement in the process of developing regional and national action plans, and for review mechanisms to be transparent and inclusive.

To read the CSO statement, 'Regional Civil Society Recommendations on the Implementation of the 2017 ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers', see here.

 

 

Stephanie Chok