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Panel Discussion “The Mirage of UHC for Informal Workers in Southeast Asia”

12 September, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

In recent years, there has been a shift within global health policy away from an emphasis on cost containment and the implementation of user fees towards the idea of a more health equity focused Universal Health Coverage (UHC). UHC is now a rallying call for the global health movement and is encapsulated within the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 3.8: Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.

Through its very definition as a universal social provision, UHC has been framed largely as an entitlement of citizenship or as a human right, and not as an issue related to employment status or work whether it be formal or informal. Yet, the National Health Insurance (NHI) schemes in many countries exclude informal workers from subsidized coverage. This is also the case in Southeast Asia, where, with the exception of Thailand, health insurance for informal workers is not covered by the State. This even, if informal workers are significant in number, with almost two-thirds of non-agricultural employment in East and South-East Asia being informal according to ILO and many of them could be classified as near-poor (while earning enough not to fall under the category of poor deserving coverage).

In order to advocate effectively for a UHC which takes into account the specific needs of informal workers, HomeNet Southeast Asia in collaboration with SEA Junction and WIEGO will hold a panel discussion on social protection for informal workers and their need for inclusive health insurance and social security provisions. The panel will be held on 12 September at 6.30PM in combination with the ASEAN People Forum (APW) being organized on 10-12 September in Bangkok. Particularly the panel is relevant to the 5th Convergence Space, namely “Decent Work, Health and Social Protection (Life with Dignity)”.

The panel composition is as follows:

  • Suntaree H. Saeng-ging, Regional Coordinator Homenet Southeast Asia
  • Nguyen Bich Ngoc Coordinator of Mnet VIETNAM. Project Manager LIGHT
  • Josephine Parilla from, HomeNet Philippines, PATAMABA-WISE
  • Speaker from Indonesia to be confirmed


Courtesy of Riefka Dahlan: Street seller in Hanoi

For Information/reservation for our events please email southeastasiajunction@gmail.com or phone/wa +66970024140

NB: The event is free, but donations are most welcome!


SEA-Junction, OUR Venue on Southeast Asia

SEA Junction aims to foster understanding and appreciation of Southeast Asia in all its socio-cultural dimensions – from arts and lifestyles to economy and development. Conveniently located at Room 408 of the Bangkok Arts and Culture Center or BACC (across MBK, BTS National Stadium), SEA Junction facilitates public access to knowledge resources and exchanges among students, practitioners and Southeast Asia lovers. For more information see www.seajunction.org and joint the fb group sea-junction.

HomeNet South-East Asia

HomeNet South-East Asia is the sub-regional network of national (country) networks of home-based workers, including the Artisans’ Association of Cambodia (AAC), Himpunan Wanita Pekerja Rumahan Indonesia – Association of the Indonesian Women Homeworkers (HWPRI) working closely with MWPRI (Homenet Indonesia) , Homenet Laos organized by the Non-Profit Association for Laos Development (NALD), HomeNet Philippines , and HomeNet Thailand. For more information see https://homenetsea.org


12 September, 2019
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


SEA Junction, Room 408, BACC
939 Rama 1 Rd, Pathum Wan, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330 Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand
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