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Forced Labour Migration and Migrant Rights Activism in Asia MA in Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific) Professor Nicola Piper.

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Presentation on theme: "Forced Labour Migration and Migrant Rights Activism in Asia MA in Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific) Professor Nicola Piper."— Presentation transcript:

1 Forced Labour Migration and Migrant Rights Activism in Asia MA in Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific) Professor Nicola Piper

2 Objectives ›Shedding light on conceptual confusion between FL, slavery, trafficking (yet, many overlaps) ›Sensitisation of political discourse around those concepts ›Institutional architecture around this topic area ›NGO/trade union campaigns 2

3 Trafficking ›Trafficking -usually treated as a women’s/children’s issue (historical reasons) -predominantly applied to prostitution/’sex and entertainment’ sector The main international NGO networks involved: - Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women (GAATW) -Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) -ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography & Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes) 3

4 But trafficking is more than that…. ›“people are generally not aware that anti-trafficking laws can be applied just as readily to a situation involving the exploitation of a male industrial cleaner, for example, as they could to a woman brought to Australia for the purpose of sex slavery” ›(Fiona David, “Labour Trafficking”, 2010: iii) Remaining issues for critical debate concern the validity of drawing a distinction between sex trafficking and labour trafficking…… 4

5 Trafficking in Persons ›Article 3 of the UN Trafficking Protocol (UN 2000) defines trafficking as a process composed of three elements: ›1. an action by the trafficker (recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons), and ›2. the action must be undertaken by one of the following means: force or threat of force, other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power, giving or receiving payments to achieve consent of a person having control over another; and ›3. the action must be undertaken for the purpose of ‘exploitation’, a concept which includes at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs 5 UN Definition

6 Trafficking/forced labour Two components/angles: 1.migration (internal/international) a. irregular (“illegal”) migration across borders b. rural to urban in internal context (China, VN) = confiscation of passports; 1.exploitation/force/coercion element = false promises, abduction, debt bondage a. who is victim/perpetrator? b. who is responsible? (legally, politically) 6

7 Migration element ›Drivers of migration (push and pull factors) ›Migration policies -restrictive/selective, on employer tied temporary basis, few legal channels ›Migration process -involvement of recruitment agencies/middle person/brokers – incurrence of huge debts (Bassina Farbenblum’s work) ›Feminisation of migration -domestic/care work (Stuart’s topic) 7 Understanding migration dynamics

8 Exploitation/Coercion element ›1. crime angle (punitive approach) -focus on individual traffickers as violators -in context of international migration, states see themselves as victims (of illegal border crossing) (difference between smuggling and trafficking – confusion over that) 2. human rights angle - focus on human rights of the trafficked violence against women victim support labour rights (e.g. ‘sex work’ frame) = POST-MIGRATION 8 Two angles:

9 Forced Labour ›not solely related to context of migration ›from work/employment perspective -specific sectors: agriculture/plantations fishing cleaning hospitality domestic work construction manufacturing industries 9

10 Forced Labour - advocacy ›Integrating Forced Labour into Forced Migration -addressee: Global Migration Governance institutions/fora/discourse migration-development nexus -actors: Migrant Forum in Asia (which is part of the PGA and the GCM) and global trade unions (esp BWI, ICTU – e.g. 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign) 10

11 “Make migration a choice not a necessity” 11

12 “right not having to migrate”/”right to remain” ›„..... the right not to emigrate should be in place in the countries of origin. This implies creating the necessary conditions that transform migration into a choice rather than a necessity“ ›(Final Declaration of the 5th World Social Forum on Migration, clause 31, 2012) 12

13 Forced Migration frame… ›Human rights as a core framework in development ›Right to Development (Declaration from 1986) ›Rights-based approach to development ›In context of labour migration: -Right to Work/Decent Work and Right to Social Security/Protection ‘at home’ and ‘abroad’ – ICESCR In context of critiquing the neoliberal growth-oriented model of development built on privatisation, withdrawal of the state from providing public goods etc. = specific gender implications (triple feminisation of work, migration and poverty) But: difficulties of addressing social and economic rights persist! 13 …to address the “push” factors from a HR perspective

14 Statement by President Benigno Aquino III…. Expressing the need to move from a ›“ government that treats its people as an export commodity and a means to earn foreign exchange, disregarding the social cost to Filipino families to a government that creates jobs at home, so that working abroad will be a choice rather than a necessity, and when its citizens do choose to become OFWs, their welfare and protection will still be the government priority” › (Aquino, 2012) ›Blurring of citizenship and human rights by placing greater emphasis on responsibilities to deliver migrant rights by origin countries….. 14 ……in his Social Contract with the Filipino People

15 Advocacy – Levels of Engagement ›Global and national level – how about regional (ASEAN)? 15

16 The END ›Thank you for your attention! 16


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