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Advocating for ASEAN migrant workers’ rights

Borneo Bulletin, Brunei, 2 July 2020 - In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a task force was formed to address issues on ASEAN migrant workers. Raising awareness on the rights and welfare of women migrant workers is one key area advocated for by Project Women Brunei, a non-profit social enterprise committed to promoting the development of women and girls.

Founder and Executive Director Nur Judy binti Abdullah said that Project Women Brunei is assisting the Task Force on ASEAN Migrant Workers (TFAMW) to share its statement that supports the 36th ASEAN Summit outcome document to include information on how ASEAN aims to enhance cooperation to increase the promotion and protection of the rights of migrant workers during and beyond the pandemic.

Titled COVID-19: Key Issues during and beyond pandemic to protect the rights of the migrant workers and their families, taskforce members brought up the challenges for the health and social care of migrant workers faced by ASEAN member states during the pandemic.

Members of the TFAMW asked and discussed, “could ASEAN implement activities, based on labour rights and gender perspective, to prevent exploitation of migrant workers, and effectively implement social protection for all migrant workers?”

“Migrant workers play a key role to ASEAN’s economic development. But despite their importance, many lack social protection coverage such as unemployment support, retirement funds, accidental coverage, sufficient paid-leave and family care,” said the members in their statement.



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