The Alliance is preparing a five point plan for advocacy on rights for migrant workers in support of work by churches and agencies in Asia.
Over 200 million people are migrant workers – together this is the equivalent of the fifth largest country in the world.
The advocacy follows the Alliance’s forum for East and South East Asia held in Kuala Lumpur last month which set this as one of the top priorities for the future workplan.
St John’s Cathedral in Hong Kong has an outstanding ministry for migrant workers, and provides them with practical help and support, including legal services. That ministry was an inspiration for the Alliance discussions in Kuala Lumpur, which identified five key areas where migrant workers needed support:
– Pay – to ensure they get legal rates of pay and to protect them from financial exploitation.
– Abuse – to provide more protection from physical, sexual and other abuse by their employers.
– Recruitment – many migrant workers are recruited by unscrupulous middlemen and traffickers who trap them in unfair debt.
– Legal status – some migrant workers are made vulnerable by their inadequate immigration status, and need legal help.
– Access to services – many migrant workers, and especially their families, are unable to access healthcare and other services.
These five areas are to be included in an advocacy statement for the high level UN meeting on migrants and trafficked people which is taking place in New York in early October. The Alliance is working on this with the Anglican office at the UN, and also with the Migrants and Refugees Network.