Workers in Asia are dying due to work, through their exposure to hazardous and exploitative working conditions. With fewer regulations, companies simply cut corners on safety. In addition, many hazardous materials (e.g.asbestos) and processes are being exported to Asia, even while they are banned everywhere in industrialized countries. This is resulting in the death of workers on the scale of millions. The ILO reports that each year, about 2 .3 million workers die due to work related deaths and injuries. (ILO, Beyond Deaths and Injuries: The ILO’s role in promoting Safe and Healthy Jobs, 2008). This is an astronomical figure that remains completely below the radar and is never reported by any mainstream media as an ongoing crime.
These victims and their families form the most vulnerable sections of society and they receive little or no compensation. Though work-related hazards are affecting both working men and women, due to the changing nature of work, the biological differences between their bodies and other social factors put women in a more vulnerable position. A lot of informal work in particular is very hazardous, and the real gravity of the situation more often than not goes unrecorded. A compounding problem in Asia is that the majority of nations in Asia do not have reliable (if any) data on fatalities due to work.
AMRC is in a unique position as one of the organisations that was involved in the conception of the Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational and Environmental Victims (ANROEV) and has been working on OSH issues making it one of AMRC strengths in the region. The ANROEV network brings together organisers, trade unions and victim organisations who are working on OSH issues. The victim/ community organisations are very active and use innovative organising techniques to get what is rightly due to them in terms of treatment and compensation. It is these experiences across the region that AMRC brings together with its regional experience from the grassroots to a platform like ANROEV facilitating exchanges of ideas, strategies and experiences to help further their fight for recognition and compensation and creating a united fight in OSH related issues.