VERA FILES FACT SHEET: Timeline of landmark ASEAN document on migrant workers

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders today signed the landmark Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers, hailed the centerpiece of the Philippines' chairship of the 2017 Summit.

Moves to safeguard the rights of migrant workers in the region began 20 years ago, stemming from related concerns about human trafficking.

A series of declarations and periodic updates of action plans led to the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers during the 2007 Summit, also chaired by the Philippines.

The 2017 ASEAN Consensus, while considered a significant development, remains a “framework for cooperation” for the more than 6.9 million migrant workers in the region, among them 212,435 Filipinos.

“The ASEAN Consensus is a living document that will continuously evolve in years to come,” the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

“It also calls for the development of an action plan to concretize the implementation of the mandate to be given by the ASEAN Leaders when they sign this document,” it added.

Here’s a timeline of events that led to the signing of the 2017 ASEAN Consensus.

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