Indonesia has hosted the Round Table Discussion and First Coordination Meeting of the AICHR thematic study on Migration and Human Rights in Bandung on 5-6 November 2012. Both meetings serve as an initial discussion of the AICHR thematic study on migration and human rights in ASEAN, for which Indonesia is the lead country for this thematic study. The Round Table Discussion was facilitated by the Indonesian Representative to AICHR and was attended by several speakers from various International Organizations as well as representatives of different stakeholders in Southeast Asia.
The AICHR thematic study on migration and human rights aims to address challenges of the migration process in the region. It is understood that the inequality of world distribution of opportunities has been a key drive for migration. Nevertheless, migration has been recognized as an essential component of the economic and social life of every State, and that properly managed migration can be beneficial for individuals and societies, as well as sending and receiving countries.
Many complex challenges have accompanied the process of migration. Some problems are mostly related to the lack of access to regular forms of migration and safe migration channels. In ASEAN countries, migration has taken various forms, such as regular and irregular migration, whereby most individuals in both categories are vulnerable to human rights abuses and in dire need of protection. The most vulnerable groups that have been identified in the migration processes within ASEAN are, among others: migrant workers, trafficked people including women and children, Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s), stateless and near-stateless people, asylum seekers and refugees; and inter-national marriages.
The Round Table Discussion and the First Coordination Meeting have discussed a framework regarding the steps to be taken by ASEAN to protect all parties involved in the migration process, especially the vulnerable groups.