Legarda pushes migrants’ rights globally
Senator Loren Legarda has urged the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) to push for a global policy and action that considers and respects the rights and dignity of all migrants and refugees across the globe.
“This Assembly of Parliamentarians can help move forward not just the commitments of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants 18 months ago, but of many other treaties and pledges to facilitate safe, orderly, and regular migration,” Legarda said at the 138th assembly of the IPU in Geneva, Switzerland on Tuesday.
Legarda, chair of the Senate committees on foreign relations, finance and climate change, heads the Philippine delegation to the IPU assembly from March 24 to 28.
The senator however pointed out that migration “should never be at the expense of human dignity.”
She cited that 3.4 percent of the world’s population or 258 million reside or work in countries not of their birth, while 10 percent of the Philippine population or 10 million Filipinos, such as doctors, scientists, nurses, engineers, architects, information technology specialists, and other skilled workers, were employed or living in other countries.
Of the total number of migrant domestic workers worldwide, Legarda said 73.4 percent were women. She noted, however, that there was strong evidence that female domestic workers have remained the most vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, forced labor, and violence.
“In 2015 alone, more than 36,000 overseas Filipinos sought assistance from our embassies and consulates. The Philippine government employs mass repatriation of distressed Filipinos overseas—many of them out-of-status and unemployed for years—because legal remedies are absent in their host countries,” Legarda said.
In order to spur a more collective global action, the lawmaker urged fellow parliamentarians to pursue a Global Compact for Safe and Orderly Migration, which would set in place an international framework to manage migration that is acceptable by all states.
She said the Philippines proposes that the Global Compact should among others: be anchored on human rights, be gender-responsive, be child-sensitive and adhere to the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and the New York Declaration.
Legarda likewise encouraged her colleagues to “go beyond ad hoc and reactive policy measures that cater only to populist demands.”
“Let us aim for sustainable solutions that address the multifaceted forms of migration challenges. In doing so, let us be inclusive in the way we craft laws and international frameworks, so that those who will be most affected by our actions and decisions are not left on the fringes of the debate and action,” she said. /cbb
Pathricia Ann V. Roxas
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