Social protection for migrant workers: ILO s approach and ASEAN perspective

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1 Social protection for migrant workers: ILO s approach and ASEAN perspective Loveleen De, ILO Presented at the Asian Conference on Globalization and Labor Administration: Cross-Border Labor Mobility, Social Security and Regional Integration November 19-21, 2014, Manila, Philippines No written or electronic reproduction of this document without the author s permission

2 Agenda Social protection and its extension ILO s standards and the protection of migrant workers social security rights Social protection floors Situation and challenges for migrant workers Way forward in ASEAN

3 Social protection and its extension

4 What is social protection? To cover against the financial consequences of: Maternity Sickness Unemployment Work injury Medical care Families with children Invalidity Death of the breadwinner Old age Lifecycle

5 What is social protection? Protection provided by society To compensate for the loss of income and cover health care expenditures To facilitate access to social services and fulfill basic needs Financial support Access to services Social transfers

6 ILO s standards and the protection of migrant workers social security rights

7 Social security is a human right Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 International Covenant on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights, 1966 Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention (No. 102), 1952 Social Protection Floors Recommendation (No. 202), 2012

8 ILO s standards for implementing the right to social security Convention 118 on Equality of Treatment (Social Security) 1962 Convention 157 on Maintenance of Social Security Rights, 1982 Convention 102 on Social Security (Minimum Standards), 1952 Recommendation 67 on Income Security, 1944 C19 Equality of Treatment (Accident Compensation), 1925 C121 Employment Injury Benefits, 1964 C128 Invalidity, Old-Age and Survivors Benefits, 1967 Recommendation 69 on Medical Care, 1944 C130 Medical Care and Sickness Benefits, 1969 C168 Employment Promotion & Protection against Unemployment, 1988 C183 Maternity Protection, 2000 Recommendation 202 on Social Protection Floors, 2012

9 ILO s standards for implementing the right to social security Convention 118 on Equality of Treatment (Social Security) 1962 Convention 157 on Maintenance of Social Security Rights, 1982 Convention 102 on Social Security (Minimum Standards), 1952 Recommendation 67 on Income Security, 1944 C19 Equality of Treatment (Accident Compensation), 1925 C121 Employment Injury Benefits, 1964 Recommendation 69 on Medical Care, 1944 C168 C128 C130 Employment Invalidity, Medical C183 Stipulates Promotion & Old-Age and Care and Maternity - Nine social Protection Survivors Sickness security benefits Protection, against Benefits, - Minimum Benefits, coverage (e.g. 50% of all employees) 2000 Unemployment, Minimum levels 1969 of benefits - Minimum duration of benefits Maximum qualifying period to receive benefits Recommendation 202 on Social Protection Floors, 2012

10 ILO s standards for implementing the right to social security Convention 118 on Equality of Treatment (Social Security) 1962 Convention 157 on Maintenance of Social Security Rights, 1982 Convention 102 on Social Security (Minimum Standards), 1952 Recommendation 67 on Income Country can ratify Security, C with only 1 out of 9 benefits Equality of treatment for: C19 C128 C130 - all persons who are Equality of C121 nationals of ratifying countries Invalidity, Medical - refugees or stateless Treatment Employment persons Old-Age and Care and Guarantee of benefit (Accident Injury portability for old age, invalidity, Survivors Sickness Compensation), survivors, employment Benefits, injury Benefits, Benefits, Ratified by the Philippines for 7 branches Recommendation 69 on Medical Care, 1944 C168 Employment Promotion & Protection against Unemployment, 1988 Recommendation 202 on Social Protection Floors, 2012 C183 Maternity Protection, 2000

11 ILO s standards for implementing the right to social security Convention 118 on Equality of Treatment (Social Security) 1962 Convention 157 on Maintenance of Social Security Rights, 1982 Convention 102 on Social Security (Minimum Standards), 1952 Recommendation 67 on Income Recommendation 69 on Medical Security, Urges States to include Care, migrant 1944 workers under their national employment injury C168 C19 C128compensation C130 fund, under the same C121 Employment Equality of Invalidity, conditions Medical C183 Employment Promotion & Treatment Old-Age -and Applies Care between and ratifying Maternity Injury Protection States even (Accident Survivors Sickness Protection, Benefits, without bilateral agreements against Compensation), Benefits, Benefits, However, no obligation Unemployment, for payment of benefits abroad Recommendation 202 on Social Protection Floors, 2012 Ratified by 6 ASEAN countries

12 ILO s standards for implementing the right to social security Convention 118 on Equality of Treatment (Social Security) 1962 Convention 157 on Maintenance of Social Security Rights, 1982 Convention 102 on Social Security (Minimum Standards), 1952 Recommendation 67 on Income Security, 1944 Recommendation 69 on Medical Care, 1944 C168 C128 C130 In ratifying C19 C157, the C121 country accepts the Convention s obligations Employment for all Equality of Invalidity, Medical branches for which Employment it has a scheme in place Promotion & Treatment Old-Age and Care and Ratifying States should Injury endeavor to conclude bilateral or multilateral Protection (Accident Survivors Sickness agreements Benefits, against Compensation), Benefits, Benefits, - Maintenance 1964 Unemployment, 1925 of rights acquired (totalization): consideration of total period of contributions in all countries to meet the qualifying 1988 period - Portability of benefits Recommendation 202 on Social Protection Floors, 2012 Ratified by the Philippines C183 Maternity Protection, 2000

13 ILO s standards for implementing the right to social security Convention 118 on Equality of Treatment (Social Security) 1962 Convention 157 on Maintenance of Social Security Rights, 1982 Convention 102 on Social Security (Minimum Standards), All residents should enjoy at least a minimum level Recommendation of social security 67 on Income Recommendation 69 on Medical Security, - Reaffirms 1944 the right to social security for all Care, Member states of the ILO should establish nationallydefined C128 C130 C168 C121 social protection floors as a fundamental Employment element Invalidity, Medical Employment of their social security systems Promotion & Old-Age and Care and Injury Protection Survivors Sickness Benefits, against Benefits, Benefits, 1964 Unemployment, C19 Equality of Treatment (Accident Compensation), 1925 Recommendation 202 on Social Protection Floors, 2012 C183 Maternity Protection, 2000

14 Social protection floors

15 Recommendation No. 202 on Social Protection Floors Adopted at the 101 st International Labour Conference in 2012 by 185 Member States 456 yes votes 1 abstention

16 Extension of social protection Formal sector workers usually have access to social protection Some schemes target the poorest, leaving the rest of the informal sector uncovered Migrant workers and their families are often left unprotected Level of protection Poor?? Rest of informal sector Population Formal sector

17 Social protection floor All residents should enjoy at least a minimum level of social protection Member states of the ILO should establish SPFs as a fundamental element of their national social protection systems Level of protection Nationally defined SPF Poor Rest of informal sector Formal sector Population

18 Social protection floor Based on the SPF, extend social protection to provide progressively higher levels of benefits to more people Level of protection Higher levels of social security to more people Nationally defined SPF Poor Rest of informal sector Formal sector Population

19 Social protection floor Four basic guarantees: All residents have access to essential health care, including maternity care All children enjoy basic income security, providing access to nutrition, education, care, and any other necessary goods and services All persons in active age who cannot earn sufficient income, enjoy basic income security, particularly in cases of sickness, unemployment, maternity, disability All older persons have basic income security

20 Social protection floor No one size fits all approach SPFs are nationally-defined according to socio-economic priorities and available fiscal resources

21 Situation and challenges in ASEAN

22 ASEAN Declaration in Cebu, 2007 Adoption of the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and the Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers Acknowledges the difficulties migrant workers and their families encounter in exercising their rights Committed all ASEAN countries to strengthen the protection provided to migrant workers receiving States will facilitate access to social welfare services as appropriate and in accordance with the legislation of the receiving State, provided that they fulfill the requirements under applicable laws, regulations and policies of the said States, bilateral agreements and multilateral treaties.

23 ASEAN Declaration on Strengthening Social Protection Adopted at the 23 rd ASEAN Summit in Brunei Darussalam, on 9 October 2013 Everyone, especially those who are poor, at risk, persons with disabilities, older people, out-of-school youth, children, migrant workers, and other vulnerable groups, are entitled to have equitable access to social protection that is a basic human right and based on a rights-based/needs-based, lifecycle approach and covering essential services as needed

24 Medical care Sickness Unemploy ment Old age Work injury Family Maternity Invalidity Survivors Social security laws in ASEAN Include migran ts? Singapore No Brunei Darussalam Malaysia Yes Thailand Yes Cambodia* Yes Indonesia Yes Lao PDR* Yes Myanmar* Yes Philippines Yes Viet Nam Yes * Law is in place, implementation in progress. Source: ASEAN Community 2015, ILO & ADB No

25 Lack of access to social security Some common challenges and barriers Often migrant workers may be excluded from social insurance laws and universal schemes Undocumented migrants disqualify from benefits Even when migrant workers contribute, they are not always entitled to benefits, as the qualifying conditions may require several years of contribution Inconsistency with immigration rules such as leaving the country at the end of the contract, and waiting period for receiving benefits Limited social security agreements between countries

26 Lack of access to social security Some common challenges and barriers Insufficient portability of benefits (e.g. pensions) Contributory social security schemes have limited coverage, mainly of the formal sector Likely to take up hazardous jobs and informal employment (e.g. domestic workers), who are difficult to reach Limited care and support systems for migrant population (especially mothers with infants, newborns, children left at home, elderly) Lack of available information and language barriers

27 Case of Thailand Figure 1. Migrant workers right to social security Source: ABND report for Thailand, 2013

28 Case of Thailand Figure 1. Migrant workers right to social security High number of undocumented migrant workers, who are not entitled to any social security schemes. Even those who are documented face several problems.

29 Case of Thailand Figure 1. Migrant workers right to social security Several migrant workers are not covered by the Compulsory Migrant Health Insurance (CMHI) scheme, due to problems like affordability and lack of information. CMHI provides some, though lower, protection as compared to UCS, which is only for nationals.

30 Case of Thailand Figure 1. Migrant workers right to social security Even documented migrant workers may not be registered for SSF and WCF by their employers, and are therefore left uncovered.

31 Case of Thailand Figure 1. Migrant workers right to social security Registered migrant workers have difficulties claiming SSF unemployment benefits due to: The migrant worker has to leave the country within 7 days of being retrenched, which does not allow them time to declare their unemployed status to DOE, SSO and to report every month, as required. DOE only accepts applications from Thai citizens, thereby excluding migrant workers.

32 Case of Thailand Figure 1. Migrant workers right to social security Although migrant workers are covered in principle by WCF, in reality, most of them cannot satisfy the two conditions enacted by Circular RS0711/W751 issued on 25 Oct 2001: migrant workers must possess a passport or foreign registration documents employers must have registered them and paid contributions to WCF

33 Way forward in ASEAN

34 Proposed strategy A process of Assessment-based National Dialogue (ABND) in all ASEAN countries: (1) Recommendations, (2) Build a common database of social security provisions

35 ABND is a 3-step process Step 1 Building the assessment matrix Step 2 Estimating the cost of recommendations Step 3 Endorsement and further action by the government

36 Objectives of ABND How do we make the SPF a reality for the entire population of a country? Progressive ASEAN integration and the development of social security agreements Common database of social security situation across ASEAN Useful for pre-departure trainings for migrant workers

37 Proposed strategy Assessment Based National Dialogue Exercises in all ASEAN countries: (1) Recommendations, (2) Build a common database of social security provisions Support to the implementation of nationally defined social protection floors and higher levels of social security through Technical Cooperation, South-South exchange, etc.

38 South-South cooperation platform Existing South-South exchange initiatives at ASEAN level, e.g. health insurance National Health Security Office, Thailand and National Social Security Fund, Cambodia Universal coverage initiative led by Thailand for Lao PDR, Cambodia and Myanmar Health insurance Masters course at Naresuan University, Thailand

39 ILO s support to SPF and social security in ASEAN? SS Law and National SP Strategies Health Unemployment Pensions Work Injury Long term care Harmonization of the delivery (Single Window)

40 Proposed strategy Assessment Based National Dialogue Exercises in all ASEAN countries: (1) Recommendations, (2) Build a common database of social security provisions Support to the implementation of nationally defined social protection floors and higher levels of social security through Technical Cooperation, South-South exchange, etc. Support to the implementation of social security agreements for the SPF and higher levels of social security

41 Challenges to the promotion of social security agreements in ASEAN Countries are equipped with different types of schemes (social insurance, provident funds, employers liabilities) Schemes and laws are fragmented at the national level (several ministries involved) Unequal levels of operational and administrative capacity across countries Principle of reciprocity (some are sending countries, others are receiving)

42 Social security agreements starting with employment injury? Many migrant workers are employed in hazardous jobs 8 ASEAN countries already have an operational social insurance scheme for this contingency 6 ASEAN countries have ratified Convention No. 19 (Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand)

43 Conclusion Migrant workers make crucial contributions to the economies of their employing country It is time to recognize their contribution and ensure equal protection for them under the law as well as their home countries by sending remittances including access to social security

44 Thank you

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