Vietnam hosts 13th ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour

Wednesday, 2020-11-11 09:38:55
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Delegates attend the forum in Hanoi. (Photo: NDO/Ngan Anh)
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NDO – The 13th ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour (AFML) under the theme " Supporting migrant workers during the Pandemic for a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Community" was held via video conference on November 10.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs chaired the event in collaboration with the ASEAN Secretariat and International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Speaking at the opening, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Ba Hoan said that in recognising the role of migrant workers, ASEAN member countries are always interested in protecting the rights and legal interests of migrant workers and their families. In 2007, ASEAN leaders adopted the ASEAN Declaration on Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers.

In 2017, the ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers was endorsed by ASEAN leaders at the 31st ASEAN Summit, offering an important basis for further promoting the protection of migrant workers.

To realise the above consensus, the action plans have been developed by ASEAN member states through the introduction of specific programmes and actions, focusing on several priorities of consensus, including education/information; protection; enforcement; and support and reintegration measures.

Facing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, regional governments as well as international organisations have come up with timely responses to minimising the negative impact on workers in general and migrant workers in particular. The responses to support migrant workers include offering free COVID-19 tests and health care; automatic visa extension; supporting registration procedure; and providing temporary income assistance and assistance for returnees.

At the 13th AFML, participants focused on reviewing the implementation of the recommendations from the previous AFML meetings, while discussing the impact of COVID-19 on migrant workers and the response within ASEAN, as well as cohesive and proactively adaptive labour migration policy for ASEAN's future preparation.

The annual AFML is an open platform for review, discussion and exchange of good practices and ideas between governments, workers’ and employers’ organisations, and civil society stake-holders on the key issues facing women and men migrant workers in Southeast Asia and to develop recommendations to advance the implementation of the principles of the ASEAN Declaration on Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers.

Each year the AFML is hosted by the current chair of the ASEAN.