CHR plans migrant workers observatory to check abuses
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is establishing a “migrant workers observatory” that will enable the government to respond systematically to recurring abuses against Filipinos working in other countries.
“The existence of an observatory will depend on each country, they may or may not have [one]. It might be called differently in other countries,” CHR Commissioner Gwen Pimentel-Gana said.
A briefer recently provided by the CHR to the Inquirer took note of the “fragmented” baseline information of different government agencies on Filipino migrant workers.
This underscores the need to “develop a system to integrate a reliable baseline as a starting point for a systematic monitoring of compliance of obligation fulfillment of Filipino migrant rights by duty bearers,” the briefer said, referring to the government departments both in the Philippines and abroad tasked with protecting and promoting migrant workers’ rights.
The baseline information are usually with the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking under the Department of Justice, the Department of Foreign Affairs, and National Labor Relation Commission, a quasi-judicial body overseen by the Department of Labor and Employment.
“There is a need for a more systematic way of responding to not just specific issues but recurring issues and systematic/structural causes of human rights violations of Filipino migrant workers,” the briefer said.
It said the highest reported cases of rights violations involving Filipino migrant workers were in the Middle East and countries in Southeast Asia.
The CHR migrant workers’ observatory will have involved support from the National Human Rights Institutions in the Middle East and the Southeast Asia National Human Rights Institutions Forum.
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