Union Minister U Thein Swe delivers an opening speech during virtual meeting for the opening ceremony of the National tripartite pre- coordination meeting for the 13th ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour. Photo : MNA
The Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population and the International Labour Organization jointly held virtual meeting for the opening ceremony of the National tripartite pre-coordination meeting for the13th ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour yesterday morning.
Union Minister for Labour, Immigration and Population U Thein Swe, Deputy Minister U Myint Kyaing, Australian Ambassador Ms Andrea Faulkner, Head of Cooperation for the Embassy of Canada Ms Eileen Stewart and Liaison Officer Mr Donglin Li of ILO office in Yangon, representatives of Pyithu Hluttaw and Amyotha Hluttaw, heads of department concerned and the representatives of UN/INGO/NGO, Trade Union, employers and civil organizations joined the virtual meeting.
During the meeting, the Union Minister said the meeting was held to study the progress in implementing the suggestions of former ASEAN forums on migrant workers, to discuss the theme of 13th ASEAN Forum “Supporting Migrant Workers during the Pandemic for a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Community” and to draft or formulate the suggestions for the Myanmar delegations to the forum. The world is facing the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic which change the living styles. Although most of the countries conducted visa extension for immigration, it was convenient only for some of the labourers as most of the workers face expiration of employment contract, reduction of labour force and factory closures.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Myanmar diplomats for the respective ministries cooperated with the relevant Myanmar embassies and provided the official or undocumented migrant workers who want to return home including their accommodation and meals. They also released information widely like the needed facts for the returnees to do in line with the COVID-19 measures of the respective countries via social network.
The Union Minister continued saying that as the migrant workers do not have certain social protection during the crisis and so it needs to negotiate as quickly as possible with the destination countries for the migrant workers to have certain guarantee in the long run. COVID-19 has affected all sectors including labour market across the world. So, it seems to urge the migrant workers to return to their countries. But the workers face travel restrictions as the official routes are closed. So, the government to government cooperation is needed in such cases and the civil organizations and private sectors need to do as well.
Meanwhile, some of the returnees want to settle in the country and so the officials should consider for labour market of the country. It is important to appreciate or recognize their skills that they will be accepted by the job seeking agencies, the employers, companies and other organizations. In improving the skills of the returning workers, the officials need to give special focus on their soft skills, said the Union Minister, adding that it should adopt unusual methods in conducting training during COVID-19 crisis.
Then, Australian Ambassador Ms Andrea Faulkner, Head of Cooperation for the Embassy of Canada Ms Eileen Stewart and Liaison Officer Mr Donglin Li of ILO respectively delivered an opening speech. The reviews, findings and suggestions made by the attendees to the meeting will be applied at the 13th ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour to be held in Viet Nam.—MNA (Translated by Khine Thazin Han)