'Philippines should ensure protection of domestic workers abroad'
The Philippines should take the lead in ensuring greater protection for domestic workers abroad as abuses against them continue despite their large presence across the globe.
Sen. Loren Legarda made the call, citing a report by the International Labor Organization (ILO) on abuses and discrimination suffered by foreign domestic workers even in wealthy European nations.
One of the cases reported by the ILO involved a certain Coring, a Filipina domestic worker in the Netherlands, who was fired after insisting on taking some days off from work.
Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on foreign relations, said all governments – particularly those in Europe – should ratify the ILO Convention 189 or the Convention Concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers.
The Senate gave its concurrence to the ratification of ILO Convention 189 last August, making the Philippines the second country to do so since the convention’s adoption in 2011.
“We ratified ILO Convention 189 last August, and our advocacy for the rights of our domestic workers abroad was given unfettered meaning. We should thus lead the global campaign for protection of domestic workers and encourage other states to ratify the convention in order to provide the same rights and privileges and cultivate a culture of respect for all domestic workers the world over,” Legarda said.
Under the convention, domestic workers would be accorded the same basic labor rights as those available to other workers such as reasonable hours of work, weekly rest of at least 24 consecutive hours, a limit on in-kind payment, clear information on terms and conditions of employment, as well as respect for fundamental principles and rights at work, including freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.
She noted that there are now an estimated 1.5 million Filipinos abroad employed as domestic workers. Almost 800,000 of them are based in Europe.
“I echo the call of the ILO on European governments to ratify the ILO Convention 189. The time has come for all of us to acknowledge the contributions of our household heroes to the global workforce, no longer as invisible hands but as domestic workers, equipped with the rights and benefits accorded others,” Legarda said.
Legarda said that the convention is “the manifesto that every domestic worker deserves and longs for.”
“It is an international instrument that declares domestic work not as a favor to be granted but as an occupation to be protected. This Convention unveils the universal rights of domestic workers,” she added.
Source: By Marvin Sy , The Philippine Star