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ASEAN pays attention to interests of migrant workers


The ASEAN Safe Migration Campaign was launched in Jakarta, Indonesia on December 12 to call on regional countries as well as the international community to pay attention to the interests of migrant workers who have grown rapidly in recent years. 

Southeast Asian nations are now home to over 9 million migrant workers, including 7 million coming from ASEAN countries, and the figure is increasing rapidly. It requires joint efforts by the nations to ensure the rights and legitimate interests of these labourers. 

Ensuring the basic rights and interests of migrant workers is also one of the focuses of ASEAN’s work by 2025.

Speaking at the launch ceremony, Kung Phoak, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, said ASEAN’s population is 625 million, including over 300 million at the working age, with about 6 percent of them being migrant workers. 

It poses challenges to the grouping in putting forth measures to ensure the rights and legitimate interests of these people, he noted. 

EU Ambassador to ASEAN Francisco Fontan affirmed that migrant labour is a concern of Southeast Asia, Europe and the entire world. Labourers want to work overseas to improve their income but many of them face a lot of difficulties, including labour abuse and exploitation. 

According to him, Vietnam can learn from experience of neighbouring countries like Singapore and Thailand in sending workers abroad as well as taking measures to manage and ensure the basic rights of foreign workers in the country. 

In the framework of the 31st ASEAN Summit in Manila, the Philippines on November 14, 2017, leaders of ASEAN countries signed the ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers, which aims to ensure migrant workers enjoy basic rights and interests, social sponsorship and humanitarian treatment.

This reflects ASEAN’s efforts to build a community that looks towards the people and takes them as its centre.

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