Labour migration

ILO welcomes Joint Statement of the ASEAN Trade Union Council and the ASEAN Confederation of Employers

On 4 to 5 April 2019, the ASEAN Trade Union Council (ATUC) and the ASEAN Confederation of Employers (ACE) held its second Joint Dialogue on labour migration in Manila, The Philippines, supported by the ILO.

Press release | 05 April 2019
While it is widely acknowledged within ASEAN that the role of social partners at both national and regional levels is important for the effective governance of labour migration, social partners currently have limited ability to participate in regional dialogue on labur migration beyond the ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour (AFML).

Against this backdrop, the first Joint Dialogue between the ATUC, the ACE, and their national affiliates was held in 2016. As a result of this meeting, the two parties recognized the value of holding regular joint dialogues to build trust, address emerging issues, and develop common positions to put forward on labour migration.

To this end, the second Joint Dialogue addressed issues of concern identified in 2016. These included labour mobility and the implementation of the mutual recognition of skills, the expansion of social protection for migrant workers, ethical and fair recruitment of migrant workers, and the protection of migrant workers throughout the migration cycle. The meeting also discussed the 2017 ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers in order to identify shared commitments and potential actions that would support its implementation.

The organizations adopted a joint statement at the end of the meeting, calling for the involvement of ATUC and ACE in the implementation of the Consensus and its Action Plan. The joint statement expresses their regret that these documents were developed without input from employers, workers, or their organizations. It also notes the importance of migrant workers’ access to social protection and skills recognition, issues which were not substantially reflected in the ASEAN Consensus. The joint statement also identifies several areas where ATUC and ACE agree to work together, inlcuding the joint promotion of support services to migrant workers and their employers.

The second Joint Dialogue was hosted by the ATUC with opening remarks given by Atty. Ruben Torres, General Secretary, ATUC; Atty. Ancheta Tan, President, ACE; Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for The Philippines; and Mr. Stephen Weaver, Head of Cooperation, Embassy of Canada to The Philippines. It was supported by the ILO, its Bureau for Workers' Activities (ACTRAV), the Bureau for Employers' Activities (ACT/EMP), and the TRIANGLE in ASEAN programme.

The ILO will continue to support regional dialogue between ATUC and ACE on labour migration issues.

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Marja Paavilainen
Senior Programme Officer