ASEAN likely to adopt declaration on rights of migrant workers

MANILA — The Philippines is optimistic that the declaration on the protection and promotion of the rights of migrant workers will be adopted by the leaders from Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this November.

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Robespierre Bolivar said high-level officials of ASEAN’s three pillars – political, economic and social – will gather here next month to attend their Joint Consultative Meeting (JCM).

Bolivar said the JCM finalizes the outcome documents for the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting slated for November.

The Philippines’ year-long hosting of the 50th ASEAN Summit will culminate with the Leaders’ Meeting.

“Most of the (JCM) meetings will discuss the remaining outcome documents which are not yet released. Hopefully, migrant workers instrument would be finalized; the text by October and then by November for adoption by the leaders,” he said in an interview this week.

Under the declaration, ASEAN member states recognized the importance of adopting appropriate and comprehensive migration policies on migrant workers.

They also acknowledged the need to address cases of abuse and violence against migrant workers, whenever such cases occur.

Apart from the migrant workers’ instrument, Bolivar further said ASEAN members are also working on key statements and declarations, including those on countering terrorist financing and climate change.

ASEAN groups 10 countries are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Leslie Gatpolintan/