The ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour (AFML)

Background information on the ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour

Background

At the 1st meeting of the Committee on the Implementation of the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers (ACMW) which was held from 15 to 16 September 2008 in Singapore, the Meeting adopted its Work Plan with four areas of cooperation. Under the thrust 2, which pertains to strengthening protection and promotion of the rights of migrant workers by enhancing labour migration governance in ASEAN Countries, one of the recommended activities was to organize an “ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour”.

With reference to the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint that was adopted by the ASEAN Leaders at their 14th Summit held in Cha-am, Thailand, from 27 February to 1 March 2009, one of the ASCC Blueprint Strategic Objectives pertains to the protection and promotion of the rights of migrant workers under Section C2.ii: institutionalize and convene on a regular basis the ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour as a platform for broad-based discussions on migrant labour issues under the auspices of the ACMW.

The 1st Meeting of Senior Labour Officials Working Group on Progressive Labour Practices to Enhance Competitiveness of ASEAN (SLOM-WG) was held from 30 to 31 March 2009 in Bangkok. The Meeting agreed to institutionalize the Forum as a regular activity under the ACMW Work Plan. The Royal Thai Government (RTG) convened the 2nd ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour from 30 to 31 July 2009 in Bangkok, Thailand. The 2nd ASEAN Forum recommendations were communicated to the ACMW together with the Task Force on ASEAN Migrant Workers’ (TFAMW) proposal on the ASEAN Framework Instrument on the protection and promotion of the rights of migrant workers to develop the ASEAN Instrument.

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) International Cooperation Department, Viet Nam convened the 3rd ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour from 19 to 20 July 2010 in Hanoi, Viet Nam. Six recommendations were made with emphasis on enhancing awareness and information services to protect the rights of the migrant workers. The Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration, Indonesia, hosted the 4th ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour from 24 to 25 October 2011 in Bali, Indonesia. Recommendations were made on the promotion of a positive image, the rights and dignity of migrant workers; and the promotion of strategies for effective return and reintegration, as well as sustainable alternatives for migrant workers. The Royal Government of Cambodia convened the 5th ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour from 9 to 10 October 2012 in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The forum carried the theme “Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers: Towards Effective Recruitment Practices and Regulations” and participants developed 21 recommendations to this end.