Social Exclusion/ Inclusion
Despite migrants’ contributions to the economy and cultural fabric of the countries where they reside, governments of many destination countries in Asia continue to formulate law and policy that perpetuate the social exclusion of migrant workers.
They are usually based on the notion that migration is a purely temporary phenomenon, which has resulted in regulations governing labour migration that are typically ad hoc in nature, exclude any prospect of family unification, restrict migrants to “unskilled” sectors, and preclude any possibility of acquiring a permanent residence or naturalising as citizens. These migration policies contribute to the social exclusion of migrants by trapping them in a “spiral of disadvantage”, where they are forced to live a precarious existence, vulnerable to labour exploitation and at perpetual risk of removal.
MMN believes that significant policy and practice changes are needed to transform migrants’ experiences of social exclusion into experiences of social inclusion. These changes are urgently needed as we move to a more integrated region where the work and lives of all people are appreciated, valued, and considered equal with nationals, and where all are able to lead fulfilling lives within communities.
Over the years, MMN has brought together various stakeholders, including migrant workers, policymakers, and rights advocates, to jointly explore the concepts of multicultural values, diversity, and social inclusion. As part of an effort to engage the public on these themes, MMN has also produced lesson plans and books for school-age children to promote social inclusion, as well as hosting photo exhibitions and creating a multimedia presentation to document migrants’ experiences when they are abroad and upon returning home. Based on research on existing policies in destination countries and countries of origin, we advocate with policymakers to develop measures that recognise and treat migrants as a legitimate part of society.
- Beyond Tolerance: Working Hand-in-Hand to Promote the Social Inclusion of Migrants and Their Families (2015-2016)
- Embracing Diversity/ Social Inclusion (2014)
- Mekong Symposium on Migration; Migrants from the Mekong Neighbourhood “Living Together: Seeking Effective Responses to Enable Integration and Social Cohesion” (2013)
- From Our Eyes: Migrant Reflection (2010-2012)