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Asia-Europe Labor Ministers Pledge Better Migrant Worker Protection
    2008-10-16 18:59:06     Xinhua

The second Asia and Europe Labor ministers conference concluded in Indonesia Wednesday with a declaration promising to provide better protection on migrant workers, the Jakarta Post said Thursday.

The ministers had discussed for two days issues on migrant workers at the second Labor and Employment Ministers Conference of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Bali, Indonesia.

The delegates issued the declaration called the "Declaration on More and Better Jobs-- Strategic Cooperation and Partnership to Promote Decent Work and Global Labor Markets to Our Mutual Benefit ", pledging to help migrant workers by providing employment and training programs as well as social and legal protection.

"Basically, all the participating countries agreed that the labor force is human capital and must be humanely developed," Indonesian Manpower and Transmigration Minister and summit chairman Erman Suparno said.

"It would also help us enforce regulations that could improve the living standards of our migrant workers, such as in Malaysia, where cases involving Indonesia migrant workers are most common," he was quoted by the Jakarta Post as saying.

The Declaration will be taken to the 7th ASEM state leaders meeting in Beijing on Oct. 24-25 for signing.

Although the declaration lacked details, representatives from participating countries, including China's Vice-Minister of Human Resources and Social security, Hu Xiaoyi, and the European Union representative Gilles De Robien of France, agreed it was a major step in economic relations between the two regions, especially given the recent global financial turmoil.

Eighteen labor ministers, nine ambassadors and scores of senior officials from Asia and Europe took part in the meeting.

Asia and Europe account for 60 percent of the world's population, 50 percent of the world's gross domestic product and 60 percent of world trade, the paper said.



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