Based on the mandate to protect workers’ rights and uphold labour standards, the ILO conventions pertain to employment and labour relations. Two of its conventions are directly related to migrant workers: ILO Convention Nº. 97 on Migration for Employment and ILO Convention Nº. 143 concerning Migrations in Abusive Conditions and the Promotion of Equality of Opportunity and Treatment of Migrant Workers. None of the countries in South and South-West Asia have ratified these two migrant worker-specific conventions.
The core labour standards set by ILO are indirectly relevant to migrant workers. Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Turkey have ratified all eight conventions that constitute the full set of the ILO fundamental human rights conventions, that is: the two ILO core conventions relating to the elimination of discrimination (Nº. 111 on Discrimination in Employment and Occupation and Nº. 100 on Equal Remuneration) and the two fundamental ILO conventions on the Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining (Nº. 98) and concerning freedom of Association and the Protection of the Right to Organize (Nº. 87).
In the subregion, Bangladesh and Nepal have ratified at least four ILO conventions. Among the major host countries of temporary labour migrants from the subregion, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia and Singapore have ratified at least one of the conventions. Maldives is the only country in South and South-West Asia that has not ratified any of the Conventions while the GCC countries, with the exception of Oman, have ratified ILO Convention Nº. 111 on Discrimination (Employment and Occupation).
The ILO Convention Nº. 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers was recently adopted (16 June 2011). Consequently no country to date has ratified it. However, the countries covered in this report that were present at the adoption voted in favour of the Convention. Notably, the post-voting statement delivered by the United Arab Emirates on behalf of the GCC member States expressed support for this new standard.17
17 For the full text of the statement, see Provisional Record Nº. 30 (p. 30/7 to 30/8) on the following link: www.ilo.org/ilc/ILCSessions/100thSession/reports/provisional-records/lang--en/index.htm.