Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer

Policy and Practice: The Role of Trade Unions in Reducing Migrant Workers’ Vulnerability to Forced Labour and Human Trafficking in the Greater Mekong Subregion

  • Eliza Marks International Labour Organization (ILO) Tripartite Action to Protect Migrant Workers within and from the Greater Mekong Subregion from Labour Exploitation (GMS TRIANGLE project)
  • Anna Olsen International Labour Organization (ILO) Tripartite Action to Protect Migrant Workers within and from the Greater Mekong Subregion from Labour Exploitation (GMS TRIANGLE project)

Abstract

This paper provides an analysis of what trade unions can offer to reduce the vulnerability of migrant workers to forced labour and human trafficking in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) and Malaysia as a key destination for GMS migrant workers. The exploration of the potential for the engagement of trade union partners is a timely contribution to the forced labour and anti-trafficking debate, given the shift towards a more holistic labour rights approach, and the ensuing search for more actors and partnerships to combat these crimes, which led to adoption of the Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930, (Forced Labour Protocol) in June 2014. Examples from Malaysia and Thailand highlight the role that trade unions can play in policy development and service provision, and also some of the challenges associated with unionisation of a vulnerable, temporary, and often repressed, migrant workforce.

 

Author Biographies

Eliza Marks, International Labour Organization (ILO) Tripartite Action to Protect Migrant Workers within and from the Greater Mekong Subregion from Labour Exploitation (GMS TRIANGLE project)

Eliza Marks is a Regional Labour Migration Programme Consultant for the International Labour Organization’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. She provides technical support on several projects working to strengthen protections to counter the abuse and exploitation of migrant workers in the region. In this role she also provides guidance on empowerment of women migrant workers. Eliza is the national coordinator of Saphan Siang (Bridge of Voices), a social mobilisation campaign and youth volunteer programme that works to promote a more positive image of migrant workers in Thailand. She holds a BA in Development Studies (Honours Class I) from the University of New South Wales, Australia, and an MSc in Migration Studies from the University of Oxford, United Kingdom. Email: marks@iloguest.org

Anna Olsen, International Labour Organization (ILO) Tripartite Action to Protect Migrant Workers within and from the Greater Mekong Subregion from Labour Exploitation (GMS TRIANGLE project)

Anna Olsen is the Technical Officer with the International Labour Organization’s Tripartite Action to Protect Migrant Workers within and from the Greater Mekong Subregion from Labour Exploitation (GMS TRIANGLE) project. In this role, she works on legal and policy development, assisting with capacity-building activities, providing support in drafting of legislation to protect migrants and managing activities for providing direct support to migrant workers in Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam. Anna holds a double degree in Arts and Laws (with Honours) from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and is admitted to practice law in the Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia. Email: olsena@ilo.org

Published
2015-09-29
How to Cite
MARKS, Eliza; OLSEN, Anna. Policy and Practice: The Role of Trade Unions in Reducing Migrant Workers’ Vulnerability to Forced Labour and Human Trafficking in the Greater Mekong Subregion. Anti-Trafficking Review, [S.l.], n. 5, sep. 2015. ISSN 2287-0113. Available at: <http://www.antitraffickingreview.org/index.php/atrjournal/article/view/84>. Date accessed: 19 jan. 2018. doi: https://doi.org/10.14197/atr.20121557.

Keywords

International Labour Organization, migrant workers, forced labour, human trafficking, Greater Mekong Subregion, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, trade unions, labour rights