MANILA, 14 November 2017 – The ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers was signed today by the Heads of States/Governments highlighting the series of events in the 31st ASEAN Summit. The signing of this ASEAN Consensus is a historic milestone as 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of ASEAN and the tenth year since the adoption of the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers, known as the Cebu Declaration.

President of the Philippines and Chair of ASEAN for 2017 Rodrigo Duterte highlighted at the opening ceremonies of the 31st Summit that “the ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers is a landmark document that reflects our promise to strengthen social protection, access to justice, humane and fair treatment, and access to health services of our region’s migrant workers.”

The ASEAN Consensus stipulates the general principles, fundamental rights of migrant workers and members of their families, specific rights of migrant workers, obligations and commitments of ASEAN Member States. It aims to establish a framework for closer cooperation among member states on addressing migrant workers’ issues in the region. While it is non-legally binding, the ASEAN Consensus is considered a living and evolving document.

The ASEAN Consensus is the result of extensive discussions, information sharing, and constructive negotiations since 2009 under the leadership of the ASEAN Labour Ministers. Khampheng Saysompheng, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Ministry of Lao PDR and Chair of ASEAN Labour Ministers Meeting said “acknowledging that migrant workers are a driving force of economic growth in ASEAN, the ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers ensures the rights of migrant workers to decent work, fair treatment, justice, ethical recruitment, skills training and development, and information including labour market information.”

The signing of this ASEAN Consensus shows the political will and strong commitment of ASEAN Leaders to safeguard the rights of migrant workers who have contributed to the growth and development in the region. “We now look forward to the meaningful implementation of this landmark document by ASEAN Member States and call for support from all stakeholders to this important journey ahead of us,” said ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh.

Following the signing of the ASEAN Consensus, an action plan will be developed by the ASEAN Committee on Migrant Workers.

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Link to the ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers