Migrant Forum in Asia

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#OurHands campaign

Migrant Forum in Asia and Christian Aid, along with our many campaign supporters from around the world, are excited to celebrate May Day with the soft launch of a new social media campaign - #OurHands. This campaign will engage domestic workers around the world in learning about and advocating for their rights. We are writing to invite you to join the campaign by becoming a supporter. The official public campaign launch will be June 16th - International Domestic Workers' Day. Many thanks to those who have already agreed to support the campaign — your organization will be listed on our website soon.

The #OurHands campaign aims to inform domestic workers of their rights as enshrined in ILO Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers. The campaign aims to reach to domestic workers across through social media and encourage them to share know-your-rights materials with other domestic workers who do not have access to social media. Informing domestic workers is a crucial step in enabling domestic workers to mobilize in collaboration with domestic workers groups and to act collectively to ensure that their rights are protected and upheld. The campaign also aims to mobilize wider solidarity from other groups and supporters by calling for the rights of domestic workers.

Why #OurHands? #OurHands means that empowering and protecting the rights of domestic workers is a collective responsibility. We aim to create an enabling environment for domestic workers to articulate their rights, organize themselves, negotiate their terms of employment, and participate in social dialogue that concerns them.

The campaign held its soft launch on 1 May 2015, with the release of its website and social media platforms: www.DWRights.org, Facebook page (Facebook.com/DomesticWorkerRights), and Twitter feed (Twitter.com/DWRights).

To support the campaign:

1. Please send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and inform us that you would like to support the campaign - we will list your organization and website among our supporters on www.DWRights.org. Thanks to those who have already agreed to support!
2. Please Like us on Facebook and/or Follow us on Twitter.
3. Please share this information with your networks and encourage others to join!
4. Once we officially launch the campaign in June, help us to popularize the campaign among domestic workers - we will share more information about what you can do to support this effort in the coming weeks.


The Right to Work and the Right to Mobility: Respect the rights of all workers everywhere

May Day Statement, 2015
Migrant Forum in Asia

Every year on May 1st, workers around the world celebrate the history of the labour movement and mobilize around the world to call on states to fulfill their obligations to protect and promote the labour and human rights of all workers. On this day of global solidarity, Migrant Forum in Asia joins with trade unions, worker associations, grassroots organizers, and civil society organizations in renewing our commitment to the global struggle for decent work for all workers.

No worker should have to pay recruitment fees to secure decent work

We live in a world in which many workers, even after having developed their skills through education and training programs, are required to pay intermediaries to secure employment. In some cases, the amounts paid are so high that workers become indebted to friends, family members, and money-lenders. For migrant workers, taking on significant debts for job placements abroad is so common that it has become an expected feature of labour migration, even in contexts in which governments have heavily regulated or banned the charging of recruitment fees. Too often, migrant workers find themselves in debt bondage and exploitative employment relationships, their choices constrained by their need to relieve this financial burden.

Migrants’ rights advocates worldwide are speaking out against the practice of charging recruitment fees to workers. Join the global Recruitment Reform Campaign and support our call for Zero Fees for Migrant Workers. #ZeroFees #RecruitmentReform


Inputs from the Civil Society Parallel Event to the Migrants in Countries in Crisis Initiative

Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA), together with the Global Coalition on Migration (GCM) and the MADE Network, organized and facilitated a parallel program to the official regional meeting of the Migrants in Countries in Crisis (MICIC) Initiative*. The parallel program of the civil society network was held on 21-22 March 2015 at the Crowne Regency in Makati City, Philippines, while the MICIC gathering organized by the IOM, the Philippine and US governments and other core group members took place on 23-24 March 2015 in Dusit Thani, also in Makati City.

In the civil society process, participants reviewed the analysis of global civil society on stranded migrants, migrants caught in crisis situations, and the perpetual crises that migrants face daily. This analysis has evolved and taken shape over many years of work with migrant communities and engaging in national, regional, and international government processes.

The MICIC Initiative seeks to address the protection needs of migrants in acute onset emergencies in destination countries. Governments and agencies involved in the MICIC Initiative have indicated that there is no specific protection framework to address the particular needs of migrants caught in countries experiencing crisis. This analysis falls short, as it fails to account for existing human rights frameworks that, if properly adopted and implement by States, would reduce migrants’ risks, decrease their vulnerability, and empower them as actors in emergency response strategies. As emergencies such as conflict and natural disasters are becoming the norm rather than the exception, it is crucial that governments move beyond humanitarian assistance and ground guiding principles for emergency responses in existing human rights frameworks.


Position Paper: Migration and the Sustainable Development Goals

The SDGs mark an important moment for a deeper realization of what human rights are about. Many of the draft goals are aligned with human rights obligations and key elements of the human rights-based approach to development, including attention to root causes, gender equality, non-discrimination, and accountability, among others. However, civil society remains concerned that the OWG proposal looks to the private sector to finance development, affirming a neoliberal model that commodifies people and nature. The SDGs may, in the end, reinforce an economic model by which very often migration becomes a necessity rather than a choice. It is imperative that the SDGs include explicit human rights language to ensure that they live up to their potential of being truly transformative and human rights-centred.

Read the position paper in full here.

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Step It Up: Dignity, Rights, Development
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Domestic Work Global Campaign