Invitation to the workshop on Living Together: Integration or Social Exclusion of Migrants in ASEAN?, 2-4pm, 23 April 2015

Dear Friends,

We are happy to inform you that Mekong Migration Network (MMN) is organising a thematic workshop entitled Living Together: Integration or Social Exclusion of Migrants in ASEAN? during the upcoming ASEAN People’s Forum (APF) in Kuala Lumpur. Please join us if you are attending the APF!

Date and Time: 23 April, 2-4pm

Venue: Suite 5 (13th floor), Wisma MCA, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur (ACSC/APF 2015 venue)

Co-organisers: MAP Foundation (Thailand), Legal Support for Children and Women (Cambodia), Workers Hub for Change (Malaysia)

The workshop will look at the concept of integration and social cohesion under the overarching theme of “Living Together”. MMN and its partners working with migrants have observed that most talk of integration in the ASEAN refers purely to regional economic integration and all but ignores the need for social integration. However, in reality it is not only money and goods that move, but people also. However, there is limited evidence of the comprehensive and long-term vision from ASEAN states that is necessary to achieve social cohesion in the region. Most migration policies in the region consider migrants as temporary and contribute to a sense of social exclusion. These policies separate migrant communities from host communities and are in danger of creating tensions and misunderstandings. Moreover, migrants also face challenges in their countries of origin that are likely to increase their vulnerability to social exclusion both at the pre-migration stage and upon return.

The issue of social cohesion tend to be sidelined in the migration discourse, partly because there is less sense of urgency and partly because the theme can be less concrete. Given the absence of regular discussion on the theme, our workshop aims to provide a venue for activists to discuss what needs to be changed in order for migrant and local members of society to “live together”. It provides a venue to explore a long term vision on migration rather than focus on the specific issues.  While specific issues that lead to migrants’ social exclusion such as lack of access to social services, discrimination, and migrant children’s lack of access to schools will be covered in the discussion, the workshop aims to link these back to the overarching problem of absence of vision in the region on integration and social cohesion.

Participatory methods will be employed to facilitate active sharing by participants. Participants will collectively identify the enablers and barriers that facilitate or prevent migrants’ social integration, and identify what need to be changed in order for migrants to live as a member of the community.


All are welcome!



14:00-14:05 Introduction

14:05-14:30 Mapping on “Integration or social exclusion in the ASEAN?” (participatory exercise), co-facilitated by Ms Pranom Somwong, Workers Hub for Change and Ms Omsin Boonlert, MMN

14:30-15:10 Panel presentation

Moderator: Ms Reiko Harima, MMN


Ms Pranom Somwong, Workers Hub for Change

Mr Brahm Press, MAP Foundation

Mr Sokchar Mom, Legal Support for Children and Women

15:10-15:30: Open discussion

15:30-16:00 Development of recommendations (co-moderators: Reiko Harima, Brahm Press, Sokchar Mom)

For inquiries, please contact Ms Omsin Boonlert (“Plaii”), MMN Research and Advocacy Officer, at or Ms Reiko Harima, MMN Regional Coordinator, at

Mekong Migration Network:

Living Together-flyer-A4