Press Conference – ‘Invisible Victims of Development – Workers Health and Safety in Asia’ Commemorating International Workers Memorial Day

April 23, 2012 in Latest News

April 28, marks Workers Memorial Day, an international day of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) – a specialized wing of the United Nations puts the death toll globally to 2.2 million of those who die of work-related accidents and diseases while in Asia an alarming number of 1.1 million annually. Asia is facing an onslaught of work-related deaths and diseases and an increasing number of reports from the ground on hazards and fatalities at work bear testament to this chilling fact.

Report on Invisible Victims of Development – Workers Health and Safety in Asia: is an effort by the Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC) to highlight the severity of the problem on the ground in Asia with a detailed report from 6 Asian countries – China, India, Cambodia, Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia. The absence of figures also highlights the invisibility of impacted workers and their families and most of the time even denial about their existence by governments in the region. Yet they exist on the ground- impacted due to hazardous conditions at work and denied justice in terms of compensation, rehabilitation and dignity forming the most marginalised and exploited section of society.

  • In Thailand, lowering of labour standards that includes, low wages, long working hours and flexible labour relations
  • In the Philippines, the figures on OSH are available on an ad-hoc basis once every four years and there is no data available for the ‘in between’ missing years
  • In India, discrepancies in the collected data by various agencies. The fatal accident figure available for India, under various agencies ranges from 400 to 1000 (for a country of 1 billion it is hard to believe)
  • In Indonesia, there has not been a single case of occupational disease compensation
  • China accounts for nearly half of the Asian work related fatalities and it is not only because of its large workforce but also due to a very high accident rate. Many workers especially the migrant workers are not recorded
  • Cambodia, in the garment sector there have been mass fainting of more than 1,000 workers almost every month

Key Speaker – Sanjiv Pandita, Executive Director of the Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC), will present the findings of the report. His expertise in Occupational Health and Safety has won international awards, including an award from the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, and in 2008 he was recognized as one of the 50 most influential Environmental, Health, and Safety leaders globally. Sanjiv’s writings on grassroots movements and workers’ health issues have been published widely.

There will be:

  • Contributors from China, India, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand
  • Victims from China and India to share their testimonies
  • 2 Short films – 10 minutes
    • Work conditions and the situation of victims in Asia
    • Occupational diseases in China depicting the conditions of workers and their struggle for justice.
To learn more, do attend our press conference and report launch. There will be victims and contributors present to talk/discuss on the OSH situation in their respective countries after the actual event.
Details of the event are as follows:

Time: 4- 5 pm
Date: April 26, 2012
Venue: Main Dining Room, 1st Floor, FCC, Central
Hosted by: Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC)

Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC) was founded in Hong Kong in 1976 as independent non-governmental organisation (NGO) which focuses on Asian labour concerns. The Centre supports a democratic and independent labour movement promoting the principles of labour rights, gender consciousness, and active workers’ participation in work-related issues.