AICHR holds regional Forum on Migration and Human Rights
JAKARTA, 8 July 2021 – The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) organised an online regional Forum on Migration and Human Rights: the Implementation of Article 4 of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, on 30 June.
The Forum aims to develop Recommendation on the Implementation of Article 4 of the AHRD, as a common language for human rights cooperation and actions in ASEAN’s regionalism project relating to migrant workers’ rights.
In her welcome remarks, Indonesia’s Representative to the AICHR, Wahyuningrum stated that migrant workers’ rights are guaranteed under Article 4 of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration. She underscored that by protecting migrants and their families’ human rights, and ensuring that migration is safe, orderly, and regular, their positive contribution to economic growth, innovation, and sustainable development in the ASEAN region, would be meaningful.
Faizal Chery Sidharta, Director for the ASEAN Political-Security Cooperation of Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, highlighted that the importance of having an inclusive policy to protect migrant workers, their families, and the community as a whole. He further appreciated the AICHR Forum on Migration and Human Rights as a multi-stakeholder platform to facilitate open and frank discussions on how to best promote and protect the rights of migrant workers, particularly during the pandemic.
Around 135 participants from the ASEAN Member States, ASEAN sectoral bodies, scholars, and civil society organisations discussed emerging challenges and gaps in policy framework related to the protection of the rights of migrant workers in ASEAN throughout the migration cycle: pre-departure, transit, settlement in the host country, return and reintegration.
Further, they discussed the measures and challenges in addressing migrants’ vulnerability in the process of travelling and regional governance on migration in ASEAN. The forum also reviewed the progress and challenges in implementing the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration in the region, including the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Forum came up with the following recommendations, among others:
- In addressing the pandemic, ASEAN Member States have to take all necessary measures to ensure equal access to healthcare for migrant workers, including vaccines, and to confront hate speech and discrimination against migrant workers. It is also critical to develop ASEAN digital platform/application on COVID-19 information for migrant workers, such as health and safety protocol dissemination, health and quarantine protocols, and to include mental health into the package of social protection for migrant workers.
- ASEAN, through the AICHR, should ensure a monitoring and accountability mechanism on the protection of the rights of migrant workers;
- Children on the move and child’s rights should be at the centre of all ASEAN’s migrant workers’ policies, approaches, and practices;
- To make migration governance effective in ASEAN, it is important to ensure convergence policies at the national and regional level with the involvement of the human rights mechanisms and civil society organisations.
AICHR acknowledged the support from the Indonesia Ministry of Foreign Affairs towards the realisation of the forum.