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

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