HNSEA Universal Health Coverage Workshop at ASEAN People's Forum

Thai home-based worker
10 September 2019 - 12 September 2019
Bangkok, Thailand

Members of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gathered in Bangkok, Thailand for the ASEAN Summit from 31 October – 4 November 2019. This meeting which is held biannually provides a platform to discuss the economic, political, security and socio-cultural development of Southeast Asian countries.

As a precursor to this Summit, The ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN Peoples’ Forum was held from 10 – 12 September 2019 in Bangkok. The 2019 forum was centred on the theme, ‘Advancing Peoples’ Movements for Justice, Peace, Equality, Sustainability and Democracy in Southeast Asia’ and provided an opportunity for civil society organizations in the Asia-Pacfic region to share their expertise and experiences in tackling similar or interrelated issues; while finding ways to develop, collaborate, and advance national and regional campaigns. Their findings were consequently presented at the governmental summit.

A major challenge for governments around the world has been to ensure that UHC reaches informal workers, who make up over 60 percent of the global workforce and are at higher risk of poverty than workers in the formal economy. The regional network of home-based workers, HomeNet South East Asia (HNSEA) therefore hosted an event at the People's Forum on their new flagship issue - Universal Health Coverage for Informal Workers.

This event sought to:

  • Alert civil society organizations to HNSEA's advocacy initiative on UHC;
  • Connect with health researchers who might be interested in supporting HNSEA's work;
  • Provide encouragement to governments in the region on their moves towards UHC whilst pointing out the work which still needs to be done.

The organizers of the 2019 ASEAN People’s Forum pushed for a more people-centred ASEAN and hoped that the 2019 activity would provide a more “meaning and responsive platform” which catered to to the needs of the people of the ASEAN region.

Notable Side Event

The Mirage of UHC for Informal Workers in Southeast Asia

12 September 2019 

HomeNet Southeast Asia in collaboration with regional advocacy platform SEA Junction and WIEGO held a panel discussion on social protection for informal workers and their need for inclusive health insurance and social security provisions. The panel was held on 12 September at 6:30PM in combination with the ASEAN People Forum (APW) and was relevant to the 5th Convergence Space, namely “Decent Work, Health and Social Protection (Life with Dignity)”.  Panelists included:

  • Suntaree H. Saeng-Ging, Regional Coordinator- Homenet Southeast Asia
  • Nguyen Bich Ngoc- Co-ordinator, Mnet Vietnam and Project Manager - Light
  • Josephine Parilla, Homenet Philippines
  • Aida Milasari, Rumpun Association

For more information on the panel discussion, please send an e-mail to or click here.

More information

Learn more about the Social Protection Programme

Read Towards Universal Health Coverage for Home-Based Workers in Southeast Asia

Learn more about the ASEAN Summit and the ASEAN Peoples’ Forum

Visit SEA Junction

Informal Economy Theme