APINDO participation on drafting recommendations for the 7th ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labor (AFML)

Several recommendations to protect and promote the rights of migrant workers are proposed on the National Tripartite Preparatory Meeting, in Jakarta (11/27/2014). The meeting was accomplished for preparing the upcoming 7th ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labor (AFML) that will be scheduled in Myanmar.

This agenda was held by Ministry of Manpower, Republic Indonesia in collaboration with Serikat Buruh Sejahtera Indonesia and was supported by ILO - ASEAN Triangle Project (ATP). Participants of this meeting came from related ministries, APINDO, NGO, Labor organization, including Task Force for ASEAN Migrant Workers. They delivered inputs and created draft of recommendations for the 7th AFML. There were main points discussed on that meeting, as followed:

Theme 1: Promotion of fair and appropriate employment protection, payment of wages and adequate access to decent working and living conditions for migrant workers;

According to the participants, there were several things that can be done by migrants' origin country to ensure its migrant workers granted by protection on the workplaces. Therefore, the country should prioritize on:  

1.       Enforcement of standard employment contracts

  • It is important to develop and utilize standardized employment contracts between employers and workers as a means to enhance the protection of migrant workers.
  • Standard employment contracts must include all the terms and conditions of employment, among others to include:

v  The responsibilities of each party

v  What fees are to be paid and by whom

v  Name, address and other details of employers

v  Info on migrant rights and obligations

v  Information on insurance coverage, taxes, etc.

  • Strengthen monitoring and enforcement mechanism for the use of standard employment contracts.
  • Raise awareness about all processes of migration including contract terms and conditions, documentation requirements and procedures (including ILO Convention 189, social security, living conditions, return policies, etc)
  • Sending and receiving countries need to cooperate for the adoption and enforcement of standard employment contracts

v  Have effective and accessible complaints mechanisms

v  Have penalties in cases of contract violation and substitution

v  Establish effective exchange of information between countries

  • Send workers only in countries where protection of Migrant Workers are guaranteed
  • Protection of Migrant Workers must be prioritized by countries

v  Countries of origin to ask countries of destination to develop protection mechanisms

v  Develop sanctions for breach and violation of contracts

v  Negotiate bilateral agreements for the protection of migrant workers

  • MoM to develop and issue standard employment contracts with proper consultations/tripartite

v  Country and skills specific preferably

  • Job orders must be verified
  • Strong and clear coordination between government ministries

2.       Labor inspection in hard to reach and vulnerable sectors

  • Structured collaboration between government and other stakeholders
  • Review and verify demand letter/ job order prior to recruitment
  • Empower migrant workers through education and training about their rights
  • MOUs should include articles and addressing the protection of the rights of migrant in these sectors
  • Develop guidelines for the protection of migrant workers in fishing vessels
  • Recruitment agencies should play bigger responsibilities in ensuring the protection of the rights of migrants
  • Define responsibilities of recruitment agencies in countries of origin and countries of destination in consistent with international
  • Enforce regular monitoring of the workplace

3.       Onsite protection and organization of migrant workers

  • Pursue government-to-government MOUs and labor agreements

v  Should be more transparent

v  Should involve participation of stakeholders

  • Migrant workers should be allowed to join or form associations or unions consistent with national laws/ international standards
  • Provide migrants with lists of organizations that provide services to migrants
  • Strengthen pre-departure trainings
  • Pursue multi-lateral agreement between trade unions and employers/business associations
  • Strengthen the consular and labor attaché programs
  • Provisions for the legal aid, in collaboration with stakeholders in countries of origin and countries of destination

4.       Enhancing occupational safety and health measures for migrant workers

  • MOUs should include protection for workers, not included in labor laws in the country of destination
  • Occupational Safety and Health training should be provided in the pre-departure training according to the occupational sector
  • Health care provisions of the sending countries must be provided to migrant workers (including for sickness and accident)
  • Employer to enroll migrant workers in social security schemes at employers' cost

Theme 2: Coordination and role of key stakeholders to set up and implement policies and procedures to facilitate aspects of migration of workers, including recruitment, preparation, protection abroad, return and reintegration

In some extents, inputs were given on the labor migration policy development by the participants. Those inputs as followed:

1.       Development of labor migration policy

  • Disseminate information and raise awareness on policies and issues on migration

v  Empower migrants through training and information

v  New regulation of sending or receiving countries

  • Strengthen the inter-ministerial coordination mechanisms
  • Hold regular meetings between among stakeholders, including recruitment agency associations
  • Strengthen data collection and sharing

v  Regarding the number and skills of migrants in sending and receiving countries

v  Better coordination and transparency among stakeholders

v  Better access to information by migrant workers and relevant stakeholders

  • Encourage countries to ratify relevant UN and ILO Conventions on the protection of migrant workers
  • Attend to issues of AEC on labor mobility and skill recognition
  • Regulate movement migrant workers and prevent irregular migration
  • Multilateral agreement should promote the interest of ASEAN Member States

Related to recruitment, documentation, and preparation of works, they stated their recommendations such as:

2.       Recruitment, documentation and preparation of workers

  • Provide migrant workers with up-to-date information about licensed employment agencies, job opportunities, worksite conditions, etc
  • Develop and implement standard for pre-departure trainings
  • Private recruitment agencies must be regulated through standards that facilitative, transparent and affordable; and asked to assume greater responsibilities for the protection of migrant workers

v  Regulate and monitor the operation of brokers and sub-agents

  • Establish standards for recruitment, including standard/minimum fees
  • Recruitment standard should be defined, implemented and enforced by the State and the industry

Besides, the participants considered the importance of protection abroad mechanisms:

3.       Protection abroad

  • Support the capacity building of all stakeholders
  • Develop network of migrant associations abroad
  • Monitor and strengthen existing complaints mechanism

v  Appoint/designate focal points

v  Develop hotline facilities to receive and monitor cases

  • Cooperate with CSOs in country of destination to help collect data
  • Country of origin and country of destination should cooperate

v  In data collection and sharing

v  Through joint working committees between countries

  • Collaborate in handling cases
  • Promote human rights/ non - discrimination, equal treatment

On the issue of return and reintegration, the participants highlighted on several recommendations as followed:

4.       Return and reintegration

  • Mutual skills recognition and accreditation systems should be established
  • Welfare fund and humanitarian assistance should be established for providing support to the migrants, including during the return and reintegration
  • Develop job matching programs for returning workers
  • Develop social security standard for return migrants
  • Implement financial literacy programs for migrant workers and their families prior and upon their return
  • Do capacity building for migrant workers and provide them options other than overseas employment

Tuesday, 28 October 2014 |