Protection of OFWs, especially domestic workers, urgently needed


July 28th, 2016: The Center for Migrant Advocacy is urging the current administration to look into the still widespread exploitation and abuse of Filipino women migrant workers, in particular those working as domestic workers, as noted by the recently released concluding observations of the 64th Session of CEDAW (UN-Convention On the Elimination Of All Forms Of Discrimination Against Women) on the Philippines.

While CMA welcomes President Duterte’s plans to place OFWs as a priority labor agenda, the current plight of OFWs, especially domestic workers, needs urgent action.

Last July 5, the Philippine government, as a state party to the UN Convention, had a constructive dialogue with the CEDAW Committee to report on the state of all human rights of all women in the country, including Filipino women migrants.

http://interaksyon.com/ file photo

Filipino Domestic Workers (http://interaksyon.com/ file photo)

The UN Committee welcomes the adoption of the amended Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 2010 (Republic Act No. 10022) to protect migrant workers working in the State party, but expressed its concerns on the widespread abuse among Filipino domestic workers abroad, and the insufficient support system to reintegrate returning women OFWs. The Committee also added that the protection of migrant workers under the ASEAN migration policies does not cover unskilled migrants, who constitute the majority of Filipino women OFWs.

It recommends that the country enhance its efforts to effectively protect the rights of Filipino women OFWs abroad through bilateral agreements and memorandums of understanding with countries and regions to which Filipino women migrate in search of work.

The UN body also encourages the country to strengthen its regulation and inspection of recruitment agencies for migrant workers and the sanctions in case of breaches of relevant regulations, including the prosecution and punishment of perpetrators of exploitation and abuse of women migrant workers under its jurisdiction.

The CMA believes that while providing a significant portion in the annual multibillion dollar remittances, the domestic workers are among the most exploited subgroup within the Filipino migrant workers, hence, the need to provide gender-responsive support to returning women migrant workers for their reintegration.

(Original title: Statement of the Center for Migrant Advocacy on the Concluding Observations of CEDAW on the Philippines and the recent SONA of President Rodrigo Duterte 26 July 2016. Contact: Ms. Ellene Sana Contact No: 0915 178 1308)

Source:  Global Nation Inquirer.net

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