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Economy

ASEAN migrant worker deal gets cautious welcome

Critics cite limitations, such as ability of nations to opt out of key provisions

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, and ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh shake hands after signing the migrant worker deal in Manila on Nov. 14. (Photo by Simon Roughneen)

MANILA -- A deal aimed at protecting Southeast Asia's estimated 7 million migrant workers is flawed, as countries can opt out of key provisions, according to a group of parliamentarians from across the region.

Teddy Baguilat, a Philippine lawmaker and member of the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights, said Friday that the agreement affords "wide latitude to states to limit protections in accordance with domestic laws and policies."

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