Singapore: CSO-TU make recommendations on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers
Civil Society Organisations and Trade Unions Join Forces for the first time to Table Recommendations on the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers to the Ministry of Manpower
The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the Singapore National Consultation on the ASEAN Declaration of the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers officially handed over their recommendations to the Ministry of Manpower. The report, known as the National Statement is the culmination of two days of consultation with
38 representatives from 17 organizations comprising of members of Singapore’s civil societies and trade unions. The consultation was held at the Peninsula Excelsior Hotel from 16-17 of April 2009 under the auspices of the Task Froce on ASEAN Migrant Workers.
This is the first time the two sectors have collaborated to produce a report for the authority and it contains recommendation both to the local government and the regional body of ASEAN. The collaboration signals a bottom-up approach in examining labour issues and migrant rights between the two sectors.
As a result, there are hopes that the government will seriously consider reviewing some of its policies to better protect the rights of migrant workers.
The consultation acknowledge that migrant workers in Singapore are free to join unions as members, however the law should be further amended to
allow migrant workers to form their own associations and to serve as leaders.
The LOC was invited to a closed door meeting with officials from the planning and policy division of the Ministry on the 22 April 2009 where it learned more about the Ministry's policies and decision making process. The LOC sincerely hopes that this important meeting marks the beginning of a process of greater collaboration and engagement between the government and civil society organizations on such issues, which will in turn complement the already very strong tripartite relationship the government has with the trade unions.
The LOC comprises of representatives from the Singapore Working Group for ASEAN (SWGA), National Trade Union Congress (NTUC), Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2), and Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (HOME)
Read the national statement