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PH flags UK for abuse of Filipino seafarers

/ 05:06 AM September 20, 2019

The Philippines called out the United Kingdom for abetting “modern slavery” of migrant workers including Filipino seafarers before the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC).

At the 42nd HRC session in Geneva, Philippine Permanent Representative to the UN Evan Garcia said maltreated Filipino seafarers did not get any help from the UK police.

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He said the Philippines was also “deeply concerned” about cases of illegal detention of migrant children and minors in the United Kingdom.

“We are deeply concerned about reported cases of illegal detention of migrant children and unaccompanied minors in the United Kingdom as well as other policies and practices of the government that abet modern slavery including of migrant seafarers,” Garcia said in statements delivered before the council on Sept. 17.

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Charging those seeking help

“We flag cases of Filipino seafarers who reported to the United Kingdom police for physical assault and maltreatment by the skipper only to be charged by authorities for visa violations,” the envoy added.

He said the Philippines shared the urgency of the calls made by UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet against “hostile policies and measures by certain states that expose migrants to exploitation and peril.”

“We reiterate our call for the concerned states to uphold and protect the rights of migrants and respect the humanity and dignity of migrants in all circumstances,” Garcia added.

In side meetings during the session, Garcia also reiterated the government’s appeal to the European Union, European countries and the international community to stop supporting organizations believed to be fronts of the rebel Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its New People’s Army (NPA).

Garcia said the CPP-NPA and its front organizations have “abused the good faith of the UN system and its development partners to run fictitious social programs while financing their criminal activities and peddling false claims on the human rights situation on the Philippines.”

He said the EU and its member states and international development agencies can stop supporting Philippine insurgents “by strengthening due diligence mechanisms” for their donor agencies.

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TAGS: abuse of Filipino seafarers, UK, United Nations Human Rights Council
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