Stay-behind Children in Myanmar, the Philippines and Indonesia: A Human Rights Perspective (2020) by Human Rights Working Group Indonesia (HRWG)

This advocacy research is intended to assess existing policies on the protection of migrant workers’ children’s rights and gaps in their implementations at various levels. It also seeks to understand how these gaps come into play  in Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar, ASEAN’s three biggest countries of origin providing foreign manpower.

This research allows readers to see the social costs incurred from labor migration, and specifically the impacts that parental migration has on their children, who stay behind in countries of origin. In this sense, social costs are usually broadly defined as the undesirable effects – intentional or otherwise, of domestic or transnational labor (parental) migration on individuals and society at large.

At the regional level, by 1995, all of the 10 ASEAN Member States (AMS) had signed and ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), binding themselves to its 54 Articles covering the protection of and respect for a full range of rights for all children. In 2019, the CRC had 196 States parties. In 2010, ASEAN established the Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC). The ACWC, which comprises 20 members, 10 representing women’s rights and 10 representing children’s rights, meets at least twice each year and is tasked with upholding women’s and children’s rights.

This joint research is a part of work to build an enabling environment of the society, where children receive full support to achieve their best interest. We hope that our findings will also benefit countries of destination, in ASEAN and other regions, to consider their responsibilities for issues faced by stay-behind children in exchange for the contribution that their migrant parents have made to the economic development of receiving societies. 

This research was conducted by HRWG with generous support by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF).

Announcement from HRWG is here.

The report is available here.

Written by Bebesea

Platform for stories and resources on the rights of migrants and their families in/from East and Southeast Asia.

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