New ILO project to improve labour migration in ASEAN countries

A new project to help migrant workers who travel across international borders in the ASEAN region is being launched by the ILO and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

Press release | Bangkok, Thailand | 10 October 2012

BANGKOK (ILO News) - A new project to help migrant workers who travel across international borders in the ASEAN region is being launched by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

The project, Tripartite Action for the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers in the ASEAN Region (known as the ASEAN TRIANGLE project), aims to promote decent work opportunities for labour migrants by increasing their access to legal and safe migration channels and improving labour protection. The project will promote multilateral and regional approaches to common concerns, make regionalism more effective, and enhance the capacity of ASEAN institutions.

“The project is extremely relevant given the magnitude of labour migration flows from and within Southeast Asia,” said Nilim Baruah, the ILO Regional Migration Specialist. “This trend is linked to a number of factors, including economic growth and labour shortages, demographic changes, income disparities and established migrant networks. But although migrant workers make an enormous contribution to both their countries of origin and destination, many, particularly those with irregular status, suffer human and labour rights abuses”.

“Although protective actions taken by migrant sending governments are important in itself, without regional and inter-country cooperation in managing international labour migration, many of the fundamental issues cannot be addressed. There is also remarkable commonality in the challenges faced by the migrants themselves, employers, trade unions, the service providers and governments across the region. So there is clearly a lot that a regional project like this can contribute”.

The new ASEAN TRIANGLE project was unveiled on the final day of the 5th ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour (AFML), which is being held in Siem Reap, Cambodia, from 9 to 10 October. Delegates to the two-day Forum, titled “Towards Effective Recruitment Practices and Regulations”, discussed some of the key challenges in protecting migrant workers throughout the ASEAN region. The Forum was attended by a hundred representatives of governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations and civil society organizations from throughout ASEAN.

The ASEAN TRIANGLE project’s objectives are in line with the strategic priorities of the ASEAN Labour Ministers Work Programme (2010-2015). In implementing the project the ILO will work closely with the ASEAN Member States, ASEAN Trade Union Council (ATUC), and the ASEAN Confederation of Employers (ACE). The project is supported by CIDA and will run from 2012-2016.

For further information please contact:

Mr Manuel Imson
Senior Programme Officer/Project Coordinator
Tel. +66 2 288 2243