Asean lead­ers guar­an­tee work­ers’ rights in re­gion

Manila Times - - NEWS - BY BER­NADETTE E. TAMAYO

LEAD­ERS of the Asean (As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions) are set to sign to­day the Con­sen­sus on the Pro­tec­tion and Pro­mo­tion of the Rights of Mi­grant Work­ers that would in the re­gion.

The sign­ing of the doc­u­ment is one of the high­lights of the 31st Asean Sum­mit and Re­lated Sum­mits. Asean lead­ers signed in 2007 the Cebu Dec­la­ra­tion on the Pro­tec­tion and Pro­mo­tion of the Rights of Mi­grant Work­ers.

- that es­tab­lishes “a frame­work for co­op­er­a­tion in safe­guard­ing the in­ter­ests and wel­fare of the thou­sands of mi­grant work­ers in the re­gion.”

It strength­ens the so­cial pro­tec­tion and ac­cess to jus­tice and mi­grant work­ers, and en­sures their hu­mane and fair treat­ment.

The con­sen­sus doc­u­ment up­holds fair treat­ment of mi­grant work­ers with re­spect to gen­der and na­tion­al­ity, pro­vides for vis­i­ta­tion rights by fam­ily mem pass­ports and over­charg­ing of place­ment or re­cruit­ment fees, pro­tects against vi­o­lence and sex­ual ha­rass­ment in the work­place, reg­u­lates re­cruiters for bet­ter pro­tec­tion of work­ers and re­spects their right to fair and ap­pro­pri­ate re­mu­ner­a­tion and trade unions and as­so­ci­a­tions.

Like all Asean agree­ments, the doc­u­ment would be sub­ject to the re­spec­tive laws of the or­ga­niza com­pleted by Asean se­nior la­bor

La­bor Sec­re­tary Sil­vestre Bello 3rd said the con­sen­sus doc­u­ment work­ers, in­clud­ing 212,435 Filipino mi­grant work­ers in South­east Asia, ma­jor­ity of whom are em­ployed in Sin­ga­pore and Malaysia, based on 2016 sta­tis­tics from the Philip­pine Over­seas Em­ploy­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The doc­u­ment, he added, strength­ens re­gional co­op­er­a­tion in pre­vent­ing abuses, ex­ploita­tion and vi­o­lence against mi­grant work­ers.

“In cases where Filipino mi­grant work­ers are im­pris­oned, they will have rights no less fa­vor­able than those ap­plied to the lo­cal work­ers. They also have the right au­thor­i­ties in the coun­tries they are work­ing in,” Bello said.

The Asean con­sen­sus doc­u­ment is a “liv­ing doc­u­ment” that would evolve in the years to come. It also calls for de­vel­op­ment of an ac­tion plan to con­cretize its im­ple­men­ta­tion.

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