Regional Consultation and Policy Dialogue on the Implementation of ASEAN Consensus on Migrant Workers

July 25-26, 2019
Jakarta, Indonesia

The U.S. Government is supporting the Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) to establish a platform for governments of ASEAN Member States (AMS), ASEAN Sectoral bodies, civil society organizations, and other relevant stakeholders to discuss, debate, and share good practices and lessons learned to better implement the ASEAN Consensus at the national level. HRWG, through a grant from the ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT project, launched the program through a regional meeting of partners combined with the initial national level consultation in Indonesia. Representatives from national civil society partners from all ten AMS attended along with over 40 participants, including representatives from the ASEAN Commission on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers (ACMW), the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), Indonesia’s Ministries of Manpower and Foreign Affairs, and practitioners from across the region. Led by HRWG, the civil society partners in attendance will be involved in the organization of national-level consultations in the coming months.

In his opening remarks, Mr. William Trigg, USAID ASEAN’s Deputy Director stated that “while ASEAN did not ultimately adopt a legally-binding convention, the Consensus represents its commitment to the rights of migrant workers and provides standards and practical guidance through which to pursue real change and action at the national-level,” which is the focus on HRWG’s program. He went on to stress the importance of grassroots efforts to affecting positive results on the rights of migrant workers. In her keynote, Ms. Eva Trisiana, Director for the Protection and Placement of Migrant Workers from the Ministry of Manpower and Indonesia’s ACMW Representative, echoed Mr. Trigg’s sentiments about ASEAN’s “moral obligation” to implement the Consensus and its commitment to the successful implementation of the Action Plan of the ASEAN Consensus (2018-2025). In conclusion, Ms. Trisiana conveyed the importance of engagement with relevant stakeholders to achieve safe and dignified migration and commended the HRWG for its efforts to create a platform for engagement across ASEAN.

The U.S. Government through the ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT project will continue to support HRWG to facilitate multi-stakeholder consultations to discuss the most critical challenges and opportunities that accompany the implementation of the ASEAN Consensus at the national-level.