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Women Migrant Workers in the Asean Economic Community

Thematic Issue
Women's Economic Empowerment
South-East Asia
Year Issued
Name of Authority
The ASEAN Secretariat Jakarta

Labour migration is a phenomenon inseparable from the economic development of ASEAN as migrant workers have contributed to not only the economies of the families of migrant workers but also those of the countries of origin and countries of employment. Nearly half of estimated 6.9 million intra-ASEAN migrant workers are women and their contribution, particularly in sectors that they concentrate on including domestic work, services and tourism, could not be undermined. Despite their important participation and contribution to ASEAN economies, many women migrant workers still find themselves in variety of vulnerable situations and limited opportunities.

The Study on Women Migrant Workers in the ASEAN Economic Community, which is under the Work Plan 2016-2020 of the ASEAN Committee on the Implementation of the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers (ACMW), supports the need of ASEAN to look into regional and national trends of women migration as well as opportunities and challenges faced by women migrant workers in the ASEAN Economic Community. Targeted at women migrant workers in three Priority Integration Sectors of tourism, agro-based products and infrastructure, the Study looks into their experiences in the recruitment process, their access to social protection, skills development and training, informal employment and legal aid, which are defining aspects of their employment opportunities and decent work. The Study may serve as a useful reference document for the policy makers and relevant stakeholders in bringing ASEAN closer to its Vision 2025.