Suzhou, China: This 6th seminar focused on migration issues between and within both regions. The objective of the seminar was to highlight the need to integrate the issue of protection of the human rights of migrants into all stages of migration management. Both Asia and Europe had to continue to seek joint, equitable and appropriate solutions, through regional and bilateral dialogue, to the problems and opportunities posed by international migrations. The aim was to encourage the Asian and European academics, policy-makers, and experts to review, debate and explore their practice and legislation, as well as bring ideas and recommendations on driving ASEM forward through a genuine dialogue with officials, resulting in an equal and tangible benefit for all ASEM members.
Over 72 European and Asian academics, researchers, representatives from NGOs, trade unionists and government officials attended the two-day seminar. Two civil society representatives per ASEM country were invited and sponsored by the organisers. Each member country was asked to send an official representative (13 participants).
For this 6th seminar, the co-organisers commissioned two rapporteurs, who combined efforts in providing a preliminary report on the topic, as well as individual country reports of each ASEM member country. Detailing the actual situation of international migrations between Asia and Europe, those reports reflected the flows of population and the law systems in each ASEM member country, concepts and issues, which were useful to analyse human rights and international migration. Many of the participants found the reports comprehensive, clear and useful, as it gave an insight to the issues affecting the other countries.
The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Informal Seminar on Human Rights aims to promote better mutual understanding and co-operation between the countries of Asia and Europe in the area of political dialogue, particularly on human rights issues, between government officials, academics and civil society participants of ASEM countries.