Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies

New prospects in regional health governance: migrant workers’ health in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations

By Marie Nodzenski, Kai Hong Phua and Nicole Bacolod

The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) has potential in creating regional health governance frameworks. Yet in light of the ASEAN Economic Community 2015, pressing challenges remain. Further integration will likely lead to increased movements of migrants. Protecting the health of migrant workers is thus key to ensure that regional integration’s objectives of economic growth and political stability are met.

With the potentially negative repercussions of unhealthy migration on ASEAN’s economic and political integration, much effort should be directed towards further social integration. Why and how should a regional framework to protect migrant workers’ health be negotiated through ASEAN? A key to the successful ASEAN regional framework for migrant workers’ health, which is also a key challenge for the region, is the effective inclusion of various stakeholders involved in the protection of migrant workers’ health. ASEAN will play a crucial role in coordinating initiatives and in creating common standards regarding treatment of migrant workers.

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