Bandung Declaration on Occupational Safety and Health in Asia

November 8, 2010 in CampaignReports, Latest News

Asia has now taken centre stage of the global industrial production. The Asian region also suffers from the highest rates of industrial accidents, diseases and deaths with more than a million people dying every year due to work related reasons1. This massacre of workers is an insult to the human rights framework that was soul of the Bandung declaration2 in 1955.

ANROAV Annual Conference Bandung, Indonesia October 17 to 20, 2010

We the participants of the 15th ANROAV conference, recognise the significance of the historic city of Bandung that upheld the principles of independence, freedom, sovereignty and dignity of people in the Asia Africa meeting to form the Non Aligned Nations 55 years ago.

Asia has now taken centre stage of the global industrial production. The Asian region also suffers from the highest rates of industrial accidents, diseases and deaths with more than a million people dying every year due to work related reasons1. This massacre of workers is an insult to the human rights framework that was soul of the Bandung declaration2 in 1955.

Therefore in the spirit of the Bandung declaration, we the members of the ANROAV network pledge to work individually and collectively to:

To take and support actions to develop ‘good work’: work that is safe, meaningful, socially just and environmentally sustainable; work that enables workers to develop skills and knowledge and have a reasonable life/ work balance; work where workers are treated with dignity and respect.

To achieve this we will work and urge our governments to

  • Acknowledge the magnitude of the problem, when more than a million workers are dying every year in Asia and millions more are getting sick or injured
  • Act urgently, decisively and in good faith by making occupational safety and health (OSH) a priority policy issue. This should include the requirement of reporting all cases of occupational deaths and diseases in the respective countries. ILO Convention 155 should be ratified by all the governments in the region
  • Recognize that heath and safety at the workplace is a fundamental human right of workers and that existing problems are due to the institutional failures and denial of these fundamental rights not because of the ‘carelessness of the workers’ which is often promoted by the corporate sector
  • Actively promote legislation and enforcement of laws to protect all workers irrespective of their legal status, especially the undocumented, informal and migrant workers and resist the attempts to weaken the existing laws and agreements which protect workers
  • Recognise that workers and their organisations have to crucial role in implementation of the better health and safety at the workplace. Organised and unionised workplaces are safe workplaces and efforts are made to protect the freedom of association at the workplaces
  • Ensure that injured and sick workers receive prompt and immediate treatment, just compensation and rehabilitation within a reasonable timeframe. The whole process should be simplified to ensure that victims are not further penalised by unwarranted delays
  • Ensure the proper diagnosis of occupational diseases by providing sufficient diagnostic clinics and specialists that are independent, transparent, and accountable
  • Recognize that certain sections of the population are more vulnerable to the hazards at the workplace, due to their social exclusion and unequal status in the society. Special attention should be paid to protect these workers that include undocumented workers, migrants, women, and people of colour and minorities to protect them and uphold their dignity
  • Establish a legal framework which holds companies, brands and individual directors accountable for the criminal negligence leading to death, injury and exposure to disease of workers and citizens in any country. Companies should be also held accountable for the actions of their subsidiaries and sub-contractors
  • Ensure that victims and their organisations are included in the decision making processes related to OSH policy

We also affirm that we will:

  • Develop solidarity with working people throughout the world to resist the transfer of risk from one country to another, with a major goal being a global ban on asbestos; make efforts to hold the global electronics industry responsible for the harm caused by unsafe working conditions and continue our efforts to ensure that the industry cleans up the whole supply chain.
  • Develop an active and democratically operating global network of health and safety activists where the unique and diverse organising initiatives in different countries are respected and supported

Stop the Massacre of Workers in Asia NOW.

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