Title: Reforming labour immigration policies of host countries to stamp out labour trafficking in the ASEAN region

Authors: Joseph Ferdinand Moses; Kengatharan Shandralingam

Addresses: Morobe Development Foundation, Unitech Campus Lae, Lae 00411, Papua New Guinea ' UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), Dahuk, Iraq

Abstract: Human trafficking, including labour trafficking cripples the ASEAN labour hosting countries specially Malaysia and Thailand. Although labour trafficking within ASEAN nations prevails due to the existence of several root causes, this article accentuates, economic inequality between ASEAN nations, covert nature of trafficking regime, overlapping nature of human smuggling and human trafficking, migration policies of host countries are the primary root causes for labour trafficking. Practically, the efforts of ASEAN, including its own convention against trafficking in persons, bi-lateral agreements between its member states, as well as enactments of anti-trafficking laws by individual ASEAN member states have failed to stamp out human trafficking or labour trafficking completely within the region. This article emphasises the urgency of reforming labour immigration policies of ASEAN labour hosting countries to root out labour trafficking and proposes a model policy reform in labour immigration, employment, labour market research, labour regulation and surveillance of employers and employees.

Keywords: labour trafficking; Southeast Asia; human smuggling; immigration policies; economic inequality; covert nature; human trafficking; overlapping; neighbourhood watch; entrepreneurs; memorandum of understanding.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMRM.2019.103273

International Journal of Migration and Residential Mobility, 2019 Vol.2 No.1, pp.1 - 19

Received: 23 Mar 2018
Accepted: 24 May 2018

Published online: 22 Oct 2019 *

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