Monday, 25 April 2011

Colombo Process on Mirgrant Workers focuses on domestic work

The 4th Colombo Process Ministerial Meeting concluded in Dhaka on Thursday, this year it had a focus on domestic workers. A 'Dhaka Declaration' was unanimously adopted containing an eight-point recommendation to promote rights, welfare and dignity of migrant workers. The things it calls for are standard and rather general such as "ensuring promotion and protection of the rights of all migrant workers and their families including their social and economic rights as well as improving the welfare and dignity of the workers, especially women," and "effectively addressing the specific concerns of vulnerable groups of migrant workers especially women, domestic workers, low-skill and low-wage workers". It is also non-binding. 

It was attended by 11 nations, but Burma was absent. Jackie Pollock of the Thailand-based Migrant Assistance Program (MAP) a member of UFDWR, said that “it has been deliberate policy [from the Burmese government] because they haven’t acknowledged the vast majority who left the country. As far as the Burmese are concerned, they didn’t exist”. She said the government was afraid “because if they really start talking to migrants and providing services then they have to talk about people’s rights and protecting them, and if they do that overseas then they have to do that at home”. For more see DVB article.

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