ASEAN leaders sign landmark pact on migrant workers’ protection

By , on November 14, 2017


The Philippines and other member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are optimistic that the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers (ACMW) will be implemented soon. (Photo: ASEAN 2017/ Facebook)
The Philippines and other member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are optimistic that the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers (ACMW) will be implemented soon. (Photo: ASEAN 2017/ Facebook)

MANILA— President Rodrigo Duterte and leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Tuesday signed the Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers.

Duterte, this year’s ASEAN chairman, presented the signed document to ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh during the closing ceremony of the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits, which coincides with the golden anniversary of the regional bloc held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.

The signing of the document is part of the activities of the regional bloc’s two-day summit in Manila.

The bloc identified the protection of migrant workers’ rights as one vital measure to help bring forth a secure and prosperous ASEAN community.

Such move is in line with the Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers, which ASEAN adopted in January 2007.

The declaration seeks to promote a decent, humane, productive, dignified and remunerative employment for migrant workers and acknowledge the need to address cases of abuse and violence against them.

The landmark document has provisions that include prohibiting employers from confiscating their employees’ passports and allowing workers to join unions.

The ASEAN consensus is the outcome of the noble work of the ASEAN labor ministers to uphold fair treatment of migrant workers across the region, and establish cooperation in safeguarding the interests and welfare of thousands of migrant workers in the bloc.

The summit ended on Tuesday in a ceremony where the Philippines passed on the ASEAN chairmanship to Singapore.