PH urges global action to protect migrant workers
The Philippine government has called on the world to intensify efforts to protect migrant workers.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, in his statement before the plenary session of the 107th International Labor Conference (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland, stressed the need for global intervention to protect migrant workers.
Bello said the “unfortunate experiences” suffered by Filipino overseas workers was in line with the theme of the ILO this year—“Women at Work.”
In particular, Bello said the Philippines was recently in the global spotlight amid reports of deaths and abuses of Filipino women in the Middle East.
There were reports of violent deaths and abuses, and a number of rape cases of household service workers, the Labor chief noted.
“The Philippines is unrelenting in pushing for a fair and humane treatment of our overseas workers especially our women migrant workers,” Bello said in the statement read for him by Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod.
“They are, on varying degrees, subjected to violence at work and experienced abuse and inhumane treatment,” the statement said.
While the Philippine government has been “actively” engaging with foreign countries that harbor Filipino workers, Bello said it was “not enough.”
“Much remains to be done. Among which is the need for more responsive international cooperation tools to enable governments and stakeholders to provide safer and more suitable migration blueprint,” Bello said.
Bello said it was “heartbreaking” to note that “despite global interventions, not only by the ILO but of other international organizations, we have yet to achieve gender equality at this technologically-advanced age.”
“We beg for answer. When will this culture of inequality end?” he asked. /muf
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