Migrant groups hail adoption of Domestic workers Convention

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Jun 8 2011

An alliance of overseas Filipino workers rights group today hails the adoption of the Domestic Workers Convention saying that it is ‘a landmark international instrument that would pave the way to protecting domestic workers’ well being, rights and welfare.”

A report from Mr. Eman Villanueva, vice chairperson of the Filipino Migrant workers’ Union in Hong Kong and a representative of the Asian Migrant Coordinating Body (AMCB) to the 100th International Labor Conference in Geneva, stated that a Committee chairman had hit the gavel and declared the adoption of the text of the convention on domestic workers. “And so the Domestic Workers Convention in its entirety is hereby adopted, and so it is adopted.” declared by the Committee chairman.

The declaration of adoption has been followed by a loud and lengthy applause from the representatives of various domestic workers unions and associations, non-government organizations and advocates, according to Villanueva.

Villanueva added with the adoption of the Domestic Workers Convention, domestic work will now be recognize as work and ‘where domestic workers should be treated no less than any other workers is now a reality.’

“Despite the repeated attempts of the representatives of the EU governments to dilute the text of the convention, the persistence of the workers and their effective lobbying and pressuring of their respective governments prevailed,” Villanueva revealed.

On his part, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona said the adoption of the Domestic Workers Convention is very important to his group advocacy and campaign in providing protection to women migrant domestic workers in the Middle East.

“With the adoption of the Domestic Workers Convention, it give us momentum to lobby and urge host governments to signify and ratify this international instrument recognizing the rights and welfare of around 30-million women migrant domestic workers in the Middle East,” Monterona added.

Monterona said Migrante chapters in the Middle East continuously receiving an average of 7 – 10 cases of abuses and maltreatment involving mostly domestic workers. “Many of them were forced to run away from their erring employers and became undocumented,” he added.

“We are hoping with the adoption of the Domestic Workers Convention during the International Labor Conference in Geneva, Mid-east governments hosting millions of domestic workers will signify and ratify the said convention. And by doing so, the host governments will be ready to pass laws or local legislations that would concretely guarantee domestic workers rights and welfare in accordance to the newly adopted Domestic Workers Convention,” Monterona concluded. # # #

Written by:

John Leonard Monterona

Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator

 

 

 

Advancing the rights of migrant workers throughout the Middle East