The 18th ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN People Forum 2023 was held at the Catholic University in Jakarta from 1-3 September 2023, attended by more than 800 participants from 11 ASEAN countries. ASEC actively participated as the Indonesian National Organizing Committee in the convergence spaces of Alternative Regionalism and an Integrated Approach for Socio-Economic Justice.

The ACSC/APF 2023, themed ‘Reclaiming Safe Space, Restoring Democracy in Southeast Asia,’ resulted in a joint statement that will be conveyed to the ASEAN Secretariat. ASEC’s message has been adopted in the statement under the convergence spaces of Socio-Economic Justice, stating that ‘Socio-economic justice cannot be achieved without placing the people at the centre; hence, economic systems must shift to the Social Solidarity Economy. ASEAN must implement stronger measures to enhance inclusive economic growth, while decent work and social protection should be integrated as core strategies for socioeconomic development.’ This indicates that the SSE is becoming more acknowledged and promoted by CSOs in ASEAN countries as a solution for social, economic, and environmental injustice


ASEC thematic Workshop

ASEC has organized the thematic workshop with the tittle SSE policy Advocacy for Inclusive Growth in ASEAN. The awareness of ASEAN to promote inclusive growth with more respect to human right principle is increasing. It is shown by the attention of ASEAN in promoting the Inclusive Business, where it is expected can provide more jobs for the 40% people in the bottom of the pyramid. In 2020 ASEAN has issued a Guideline for Promoting the Inclusive Business. However, the current ASEAN Summit 2023 in Jakarta with the theme of the ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth has led to the questions on the inclusiveness of growth itself. Therefore, the theme of this workshop on the SSE Policy Advocacy for Inclusive Growth in ASEAN seems relevant to respond this question.

The Social Solidarity Economic (SSE) as economy system which put the people in the central of development has received a positive response from international development agencies. The United Nations General Assembly has issued a declaration to promote the Social Solidarity Economy in sustainable development in February 2023. The 2022 International Labor Conference in Geneva has issued a declaration regarding the significant contribution of the Social Solidarity Economy to decent work. The existence of a SSE’s business types generally can be found in cooperatives, social enterprises, non-profit businesses such as NGOs and characterized by the social purpose, democratic governance, and economic sustainability.

The employment in ASEAN is dominated by informal sector (80%) and higher than the global (61%). Related to decent work, ILO has convinced that SSE has played a significant role to bridge the informal sector such to formal sector. The partnership business model from SSE enterprises with the informal sector can be an input for improving the inclusive business policy framework in ASEAN. The workshop was aimed To share the global policy framework and how the ASEAN countries should respond to mainstreaming SSE in the countries (OECD/ILO) through multi stakeholders approach and to share the SSE practices in bridging the informal to formal sector and give better life for the beneficiaries.  The panel discussion was contributed by ASEC networks:

  • From ASEC (Indonesia): Progress of SSE global advocacy for inclusive growth and how ASEAN countries should respond it
  • From Homenet SEA (Thailand): SSE and its contribution to better economic unit for home-based workers according to ILO regulation, recommendation, including social protection, social dialogue, the reality at the country level both of good practices and gaps
  • From SSE enterprise in Cambodia: Case study of collaborative work of Artisanal Association in Cambodia with informal sector and its contribution to decent work
  • From INFID Indonesia: Recommendation for ASEAN Guideline on Inclusive Business on Care Worl.

The workshop was participated by more than 60 participants from different country in Southeast Asia

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