Friday, 1 February 2013

Migrants, HR advocates protest KSA consulate for Nafeek’s “unjust and barbaric” execution

Justice for Rizana Nafeek!

This was the message brought forth by around 30 protesters at the consulate general of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia today as the Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants and International Migrants’ Alliance Hong Kong and Macau chapter led a picket action condemning the execution of Rizana Nafeek.

Rizana Nafeek was a Sri Lankan domestic worker sentenced to death by beheading by the KSA government after being found guilty of killing her 4-month old ward in 2005. During the time of the investigation and hearing of the case, she did not have full access to complete translation and even to a legal counsel. The body of the baby was not even autopsied during the investigation.

HK’s move to abolish levy is migrant workers’ win, says APMM

It is a victory of the struggles of migrant workers in Hong Kong!
This is the statement that the Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM) issued as the Hong Kong government announced in its 2013 policy address the intention to abolish the levy for Hong Kong-based people who want to employ foreign domestic workers (FDWs).

The levy pertains to the HK$9,600 tax imposed by the Hong Kong government in 2003 on anyone who would want to hire an FDW. The levy was announced six months after the said government cut the wages of FDWs by HK$400. The said levy was suspended in 2008.
According to the APMM, the HK government should not only attribute the levy’s abolition to easing the burden of families hiring FDWs but also to the FDWs themselves who have launched a resounding campaign to abolish the levy.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Jailed Taiwan domestic needs freedom fund

A foreign domestic worker (FDW) in Taiwan is seriously in need of assistance from migrant organizations and advocates. Helen Carumba, a 49-year old foreign domestic worker (FDW) with three children has been sentenced by prosecutors to 10 months of imprisonment. Earlier, she was arrested and detained by Taiwan’s National Immigration Administration (NIA) for falsification of her own travel documents.

Prior to this, Ms. Carumba had already been detained for four (4) months, a highly irregular circumstance since Taiwanese law mandates that illegal migrants should immediately be deported, and that the NIA can only detain migrants for the mere purpose of deportation (unless the prosecutor officially requests for longer detention. In Helen’s case, there was no such request from the prosecutor.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Migrants’ C189 advocacy bears fruit

(Source: APMM News Digest, July 2012)

“Finally, months of campaigning and lobbying by migrant organizations have paid off, and the C189 can now be used as a benchmark for protecting the rights of all dometic workers, especially those working abroad.”

This was the reaction of Ramon Bultron, Managing Director of the Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM), on the Philippine Senate’s recent ratification of the ILO Convention on Domestic Work (C189). Voting overwhelmingly for the Convention last August 6, the Upper House passed Senate Resolution No. 816, or the Resolution Concurring in the Ratification of Convention 189, Convention Concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers. This was approved on third reading with 20 votes, zero negative vote and zero abstention.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Migrant domestic workers protest live-in conditions in HK

Joanna Chiu
Jul 12, 2012 South China Morning Post

Activist Eni Lestari (left) is angered by helpers being forced to sleep in places such as near toilets.

Domestic workers complained of being treated like "slaves" yesterday as they protested against a ban on living outside their employers' homes, and demanded that rules protecting their rights are enforced properly.
A group of about 40 women from the Philippines, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand, along with half a dozen male workers and about 20 supporters chanted "we are workers, we are not slaves" as they gathered outside Immigration Tower in Wan Chai. 

Sri Lankan Domestic workers in Jorden seek help from Tamkeen for Legal Aid

By Maryam Azwer/ Thursday, July 12, 2012 The Sunday Leader

A Jordan-based NGO said they have recorded around 110 complaints from Sri Lankan migrant workers from January to June this year.
According to Madhu Shanika Liyanage, a social worker attached to Jordan’s Tamkeen for Legal Aid, the complaints received from Sri Lankan domestic migrant workers usually range from unpaid salaries, to physical or sexual abuse.

Liyanage also said that these domestic workers sometimes ran away from their homes due to several other reasons, the most common being nostalgia and an inability to deal with the gap in cultures.
Tamkeen General Manager, Linda Alkalash, said that complaints were recorded mainly from workers who directly approached the Tamkeen office. “We receive cases mostly from Sri Lankans, mainly because they are the ones who know more about us,” she said, adding that people got to know about Tamkeen chiefly via word of mouth.

Friday, 6 July 2012

HRW also concerned over Thailands plan for pregnant migrant domestic workers

July 5, 2012 Human Rights Watch 

(New York) – Thailand’s government should scrap the labor minister’s proposed regulation to deport migrant workers who become pregnant, Human Rights Watch said today. The proposal discriminates against women workers and would not advance the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s stated aim of reducing human trafficking.

On June 26, 2012, Labor Minister Padermchai Sasomsap announced a plan to send home migrant workers who authorities learn are three to four months’ pregnant. He stated that this would curb the use of migrant child labor by reducing the number of migrant children in Thailand. He maintained this measure would help respond to the US State Department’s recent classification of Thailand in the “Tier 2 Watch List” as a country making consistently poor efforts to eliminate human trafficking.