ASEAN and EU support online platform workers in emerging digital economy

Initiation of ASEAN Employment Outlook (AEO): The Quest for Decent Work in the Platform Economy: Issues, Opportunities and Ways Forward Sixty-nine brought together policy makers, practitioners, international experts, tripartite partners and other stakeholders.

AEO explores emerging issues in Southeast Asia’s labor landscape, particularly the growth of workers in the online platform economy and people working on digital platforms. It sheds light on employment relations, workforce access to social security and skills development, and impacts on women’s platform work and entrepreneurship. AEO provides a critical analysis of the challenges faced by digital platform workers, while highlighting best practices to promote equal treatment of workers, including insights from Europe.

The AEO was approved by the ASEAN Senior Labor Officials (SLOM) in March 2023.

„It is fitting that the first ASEAN Employment Outlook is published,” the Secretary highlighted. Welcome to E. Laguesma Department of Labor and Employment of the Philippines. „This comes at a time when the ASEAN labor market is indeed undergoing a massive transformation driven by the advancement of information and communication technologies,” he added.

ASEAN Secretary General Dr Like Kim Hearn „Site work has seen significant growth in recent years and has emerged as a key driver of economic growth and social development in Southeast Asia, spurring employment opportunities for the people of ASEAN.” He further shared: „ASEAN has made concerted efforts to ensure that site workers are provided with adequate support and protection consistent with decent work standards and labor ethics.”

The European Union (EU) supports the AEO through the Enhanced Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (E-READI). It builds on the wider ASEAN-EU cooperation on human rights. „This publication is an essential contribution to the ASEAN region,” said EU Ambassador to ASEAN, Igor Treismans Underlined. “This is the first comprehensive analysis of digital labor platforms and platform workforce in ASEAN member countries,” he explained.

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The event allowed the AEO’s key findings and recommendations to be discussed Ensuring human capital development and social security for workers in non-traditional work arrangements amid a changing world of work. Initiation of A.E.O 2023 was part of the ASEAN Senior Labor Officials Workshop on Mid-Term Review and Strategic Planning of their 5-Year Work Plan in Boracay, Philippines from July 4 to 7. The entire program was conducted by the Department of Labor and Employment and the Department. Department of Migrant Workers (DOLE) of the Philippines with EU support through E-READI; International Labor Organization (ILO); International Organization for Migration (IOM); and the ASEAN Secretariat.

The publication can be accessed online here:

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