Monthly Archives: May 2011

It’s Time for Decent Work for Domestic Workers!

Domestic workers are the biggest sector of workers in the world who are not protected by an international convention. That could change in June: it all depends on whether at least two-thirds of the representatives of governments, employers and trade unionists gathered at this year’s International Labour Conference (ILC) vote in favor of the Domestic Workers Convention 2011.

Held in Singapore on 23-25 April, ‘Towards an ILO Convention: Building a strong Asian solidarity and delegation to the 2011 International Labour Conference was a chance for domestic workers, representatives of national and regional NGOs, trade unions and domestic workers’ organisations from the region to discuss how to help make it happen. The consultation was attended by around 70 people from 12 countries and territories: Belgium, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Taiwan.

We welcomed the ‘Blue Report’ produced by the International Labour Organisation. It sets out the text of the draft convention and recommendations – the result of an extended process of study and discussions at the national, regional, and international levels. When adopted, it will establish an international yardstick of basic standards concerning decent work for domestic workers and could be the basis for adopting and changing national laws. When ratified by member states and applied, it should do much to raise the status of domestic workers and ensure respect for their rights.

We are determined to do all that we can to encourage support for the convention in these final few weeks before the crucial ILC vote.

This year’s ILC session will be the 100th, a fitting occasion on which to pass a landmark convention that reflects its core values. It will also mark the 100th celebration of International Women’s Day.

We strongly urge the governments, workers’ organisations and employers’ organisations of our region to put their support behind the Convention. Decent Work for Domestic Workers should go from being an aspiration to being the observed and accepted standard.

Signed by:

Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL)
Alliance of Progressive Labor – Hong Kong
Asian Migrant Centre (AMC)
Asian Migrant Domestic Workers’ Alliance (ADWA)
Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA)
Coalition for Migrants’ Rights (CMR)
Federasi Serikat Pekerja Metal Indonesia (FSPMI)
Federation of Free Workers (FFW)
General Federation Of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT)-Nepal
Global Network-Asia
Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU)
Hong Kong Federation of Asian Domestic Workers Union (FADWU)
Hope Workers’ Center (HWC)
Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (HOME)
Indian Academy Self Employed Women Association (SEWA)
International Domestic Workers Network (IDWN)
Indonesian Family Network (IFN)
International Trade Unions Confederation (ITUC) – Asia Pacific
International Trade Unions Confederation (ITUC)
Indonesian Migrant Workers’ Union (IMWU)
Indonesia National Network for Domestic Workers’ Advocacy (JALA PRT)
Konfederasi Serikat Pekerja Indonesia (KSPI)
Konfederasi Serikat Buruh Sejahtra Indonesia (KSBSI)
Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU)
Labor Education and Research Network (LEARN)
Legal Support for Children and Women (LSCW)
Migrant Care
Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA)
Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC)
Serikat Buruh Migran Indonesia (SBMI)
Samahan at Ugnayan ng Manggagawang Pantahanan sa Pilipinas (SUMAPI)
Task Force on ASEAN Migrant Workers
Think Center-Singapore Working Group on Migrant Workers
Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2)
Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP)
Visayan Forum Foundation Inc.

Justice for Dusit Hotel Workers! Reverse the \”Hoy Kalbo Tanggal ka sa Trabaho!\” doctrine of the Velasco decision!

While we are supposed to be a democratic society, our constitutional right to freedom of expression and association in the context of labor relations is being eroded by the decision of Justice Presbitero Velasco of the Philippine Supreme Court. Not only it is anomalous but also unconstitutional. Support the quest for justice of the 90 Dusit Hotel workers. They are not only fighting for themselves but for the rights of every worker in the Philippines who will be affected by the said decision of Justice Velasco. Support the reversal of the Hoy Kalbo, Tanggal ka sa Trabaho doctrine of the Supreme Court!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hoy-Kalbo-Tanggal-ka-sa-Trabaho/147982591890520

Justice for Dusit Hotel Workers! Reverse the “Hoy Kalbo Tanggal ka sa Trabaho!” doctrine of the Velasco decision!

While we are supposed to be a democratic society, our constitutional right to freedom of expression and association in the context of labor relations is being eroded by the decision of Justice Presbitero Velasco of the Philippine Supreme Court. Not only it is anomalous but also unconstitutional. Support the quest for justice of the 90 Dusit Hotel workers. They are not only fighting for themselves but for the rights of every worker in the Philippines who will be affected by the said decision of Justice Velasco. Support the reversal of the Hoy Kalbo, Tanggal ka sa Trabaho doctrine of the Supreme Court!

For more information, visit:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hoy-Kalbo-Tanggal-ka-sa-Trabaho/147982591890520
and sign an online petition.

LEARN – Global Network-Asia joins this year’s ASEAN People’s Forum

In the Conference Statement for this year’s ASEAN People\’s Forum held in Jakarta, Indonesia on May 3-5 2011, more than 1,300 delegates at the 2011 ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN Peoples’ Forum, representing various civil society organizations and movements of workers from rural and urban sectors as well as migrant sector, peasants and farmers, women, children, youth, the elderly, among others, discussed the main concerns confronting the peoples of ASEAN and developing key proposals for the 18th ASEAN Summit. Edwin Bustillos attended on behalf of the Labor Education and Research Network (LEARN), which is the regional coordinator of the Global Network – Asia. This year’s ASEAN People’s Forum has the theme “Claiming a People-Centered ASEAN for a Just Global Community.”

Some of the issues that came out in the conference as reflected in the Statement include LEARN’s as well as Global Network’s advocacies on labor rights, social protection, decent work for domestic workers and migrant workers’ rights. Specifically, the statement provides the following:

ECONOMIC PILLAR

…Eliminate contract and labor outsourcing system and stop discrimination among workers. Health rights of workers can only be realized if informal workers such as domestic workers are given full labor rights including days off to access health services.

ASEAN member states must eliminate contract and labor outsourcing system and stop discrimination by giving all workers permanent employment status.

ASEAN member states must develop social protection measure to cushion the effects of the food price crisis, especially to rural women and children, who are most vulnerable to the food price volatility.

ASEAN members must recognize domestic work as work and provide domestic workers full labour rights and legal protection. All ASEAN members should support and commit to the ILO Convention on Domestic Workers. We urge ASEAN to respect ILO Core Convention 87 and 98.

SOCIAL AND CULTURAL PILLAR

Labour

ASEAN member states must eliminate contract and labor outsourcing system and stop discrimination by giving all workers permanent employment status.

State must adopt welfare state systems to ensure social security for all peoples in the region.

ASEAN member states must allow all workers including migrants to establish independent and autonomous trade unions for the protection of labour rights. ASEAN member states must ensure that all migrant workers receive the full protection of labour laws in the countries, which they are working.

ASEAN must act against attempts by employers to disguise or evade employment relationships to the detriment of labor or workers rights.

ASEAN members must recognize domestic work as work and provide domestic workers full labour rights and legal protection. All ASEAN members should support and commit to the ILO Convention on Domestic Workers. We urge ASEAN to respect ILO Core Convention 87 and 98.

Migrants

All ASEAN member states should work together to fast-track the process of adopting a legally-binding instrument that protects and promotes the rights of ALL migrant workers and members of their families. This process must be transparent and actively involve migrant associations, trade unions and other representatives of civil society.

Recognising the increasing numbers of women migrant workers in the region who are working in precarious conditions, states parties should remove reservations to the CEDAW and the CRC. At the same time, it should also recognize CEDAW General Recommendation 26, adopted in November 2008. The instrument should reflect this commitment to address the specific working and living conditions of all women migrants.

All ASEAN member states must repeal policies of contractual termination and deportation on the grounds of pregnancy and communicable diseases, such as HIV/AIDS.

States must provide social protection that includes provisions for health care and medical insurance, and that promote safe working environments for all migrant workers and their families.

Given the movement of migrants in the ASEAN region, ASEAN must support a residence-based (as opposed to a citizenship-based) health care system. This requires universality and a single, high standard of health services.

Social Protection

ASEAN must create a Social Protection and Health Promotion Fund that would ensure States fulfil their responsibilities to the peoples of the region.

POLITICAL – SECURITY PILLAR

Civil society recognises the interdependence and interrelation between civil liberties and economic, social and cultural rights. They are equally important and equally have to be protected and promoted. This includes social protection and the access of the people to health care and health information. The establishing of an accessible, universal health care system is a social, economic and political question. It is the question of how the conduct of governance takes into account the wishes and aspirations of the lower strata.

The APF 2011 Conference Statement can be accessed through the following URL:

http://aseanpeoplesforum.net/media/press-releases/168-statement-of-the-2011-asean-civil-society-conferenceasean-peoples-forum.html