Philippines Denies Impending Bans to Gulf

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Oct 17 2011

The Philippines is postponing a resolution that would prohibit its citizens from working in the Gulf. An extension was requested by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, which announced that it needed more time for evaluations amid nations' renewed commitments to legislate migrant protections.

Recently, the Philippines announced plans to ban its workers from nations non-compliant with the International Labour Organization's Migrant Act. If the efforts prompted by their threats genuinely improve migrant worker-related regulation, then both sides could avoid the economic disruptions that accompany travel and employment bans.

Kuwait is reported to have agreed to review the Migrant Workers Act and to consider a bilateral labor agreement. The UAE has promised to implement protections for domestic workers, after adopting the ILO's charter in June. These measures include certain guarantees such as a weekly vacation day and monthly cash salary, as well as improved government responsiveness to employer disputes.

Whether host nations fulfill their promises, and whether the Philippine government remains stringent with their proclaimed labor standards, will be evident in six months - when the Employment Administration at last produces its final evaluations.

Advancing the rights of migrant workers throughout the Middle East