The European Commission has launched a new regional program to support women’s rights in the South East Asian labor market. The initiative focuses on making migration safe and work conditions fair for all women migrants in the region. The 500-million euro package also aims to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.
The new labor program “Safe and Fair” that will be specifically supported by more than 25 million euros, will contribute to improving the labor migration conditions for women in the ASEAN region. The EU will cooperate with regional governments but also with UN Women and the International Labor Organization (ILO) to improve labor laws and access to information and services to ultimately prevent and put an end to violence and human trafficking. The program also aims at improving data and knowledge on the rights and contributions of women migrant workers.
Violence against women and girls is one of the greatest obstacles to the fulfillment of women’s and girls’ human rights as well as achieving gender equality and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The problem occurs across the world with around a third of all women having experienced physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives. Furthermore, women and girls account for almost two thirds of all victims of human trafficking globally.
To put an end to these violations, a major EU-UN Joint “Spotlight Initiative” worth €500 million was launched. The program will especially focus on the remote areas of partner countries and the so-called “forgotten crises”, which is essentially crises that have not been sufficiently covered in international media. The “Safe and Fair” program, launched in Bangkok, is also part of and the first deliverable under the “Spotlight Initiative” in Asia. It is estimated that of the 20.2 million migrants globally that originate from ASEAN as many as 10 million are women.