ASEAN declaration on protection of migrant workers, family members in crisis situations adopted hinh anh 1Leaders of ASEAN member states pose for a group photo. (Photo: VNA)

Labuan Bajo (VNA) – ASEAN leaders on May 10 adopted the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection of Migrant Workers and Family Members in Crisis Situations during the 42nd ASEAN Summit.

The leaders agreed to adapt policies to include assistance to migrant workers across occupational areas at all stages of crisis preparedness, response and recovery for the specific needs of migrant workers, especially women, and their families already residing with them in crisis situations.

ASEAN countries will mainstream the protection and promotion of the rights of migrant workers caught in crisis situations and their family members left behind in the policies, programmes and mechanisms of Sending States; facilitate access of migrant workers to timely and relevant information and support services in time of crises.

ASEAN leaders committed to supporting access to justice, grievance mechanisms and referral and support mechanisms to address various forms of harm and exploitation experienced by migrant workers in crisis situations.

All migrant workers affected by crises are facilitated to gain timely access to sustained safety, health care, psychosocial support, social protection, livelihood support in time of furlough, sickness or injury, and return and reintegration to their countries of origin.

In addition, ASEAN leaders agreed to strengthen bilateral and/or multilateral cross-border coordination between countries of origin, transit and destination authorities in assisting and protecting migrant workers and their family members already residing with them in crisis and preventing them from becoming undocumented or being the victims of trafficking in persons.

Member States will also strengthen cooperation to extend assistance to their migrant workers who are caught in crisis situations outside ASEAN in the event of need, based on the capacities and resources of the Embassies and Consular Offices of the relevant ASEAN Member States and based on bilateral consultations and arrangements.

According to the declaration, ASEAN leaders agreed to promote whole-of-society and whole-of-government collaboration and partnership between ASEAN Member States and ASEAN’s External Partners, international organisations, and other relevant international entities to better protect migrant workers and their family members already residing with them in crisis situations throughout entire migration process./.