EU, ILO and UN Women join forces to realize women migrant workers' rights and opportunities in the ASEAN region

The European Union (EU), International Labour Organization (ILO) and UN Women are launching a new joint programme to address women migrant workers' vulnerabilities to violence, trafficking and labour exploitation

Date: Monday, November 20, 2017

(Bangkok, Thailand) — On 17 November, EU, ILO and UN Women launched a new programme "Safe and Fair: Realizing women migrant workers' rights and opportunities in the ASEAN region", as part of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.

The programme's main objective is to achieve safe and fair labour migration for all women in the ASEAN region by addressing women migrant workers' vulnerabilities, enhancing their access to essential services and strengthening rights-based and gender-responsive approaches to violence against women and migration governance.

The programme was launched at an event co-organized by the EU, ILO and UN Women to introduce the new EU-UN Spotlight Initiative, to eliminate violence against women and girls, and also the Initiative's first programme, "Safe and Fair: Realizing women migrant workers' rights and opportunities in the ASEAN region". Funded by the EU, with a budget of EUR 25 million, the programme will be implemented through a UN Women and ILO partnership. The programme will run for five years, starting 2018, and focus on ASEAN countries.

In his address to government representatives, trade unions and NGOs working on migrant rights and violence against women, students, and UN agencies, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica said: "Women and girls make up over 70 per cent of all victims of human trafficking. Too often these terrible crimes go unnoticed - unseen and unspoken. And the cycles of violence continue to thrive in silence, in the darkest corners of our society. So it's up to each and every one of us - women and men alike - to stand up and to speak out! To drive out the darkness and to break the walls of silence. This is exactly what our new Spotlight Initiative aims to do."

Read the full press release on UN Women's regional website for Asia and the Pacific