Friday, 2 March 2012

Filipino union lambasts PHL gov’t for slow ratification of domestic workers convention

Press Release
02 March 2012

For reference: Eman Villanueva
Vice Chairperson
Tel. No.: (852) 97585935

Filipino union lambasts PHL gov’t for slow ratification of domestic workers convention

A union of Filipinos in Hong Kong today lambasted the Philippine government for failing to give attention to the ratification of the Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Work (ILO Convention No. 189), eight months after its approval by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

“We are very worried that ILO Convention 189 still has a very hazy future as no country has ratified it yet. We expected the Philippines, as chair of the Committee on Domestic Workers who deliberated the text of the convention with recommendations, to be the first or one of the first to ratify the convention but so far, it seems to be it is not in the list of President Aquino’s priorities,” said Eman Villanueva, vice chairperson of the Filipino Migrant Workers’ Union (FMWU-HKCTU).

The FMWU, an affiliate of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU), was one of the union delegates to the 100th International Labour Conference (ILC) in June last year where the convention was approved. Its members are Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong.

Villanueva relayed that according to an international network for domestic workers’ rights, the convention can be shelved if it is not ratified by at least two countries a year after its approval.

“We expected the Philippine government to be itching to ratify the convention considering the presence of millions of Filipino domestic workers in various countries around the world as well as hundreds of thousands more working in the Philippines. But what do we get so far: the same inattention and neglect to what is beneficial to OFWs that the Aquino government has been known for since it assumed power almost two years ago,” he added.

Villanueva reported that organizations of migrant domestic workers are lobbying for the ratification of the convention because it contains provisions that can be used to protect the rights of the domestic workers who are mostly women.

“Everyday, there are domestic workers who are abused and even meet tragic endings. It is high time that we get an international agreement that we can use to protect ourselves from the modern-day slavery that we are in,” he remarked.

Villanueva said that the call for ratification of the ILO Convention 189 will be one of the main demands of the FMWU in the protest action on March 11 in Hong Kong in commemoration of the 101st International Women’s Day. As well, the Labour Day march in May shall also feature the said demand.

“After decades of campaigning and lobbying, the historic victory of domestic workers including migrant domestic workers may all come to naught. We shall not let this be,” said Villanueva.



Filipino Migrant Workers' Union - Hong Kong (FMWU-HKCTU)
c/o APMM, G/F., No. 2 Jordan Road,
Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR
Tel. (852) 2723-7536 / 9758-5935 / 9104-1411 / 9031-1602
Fax. (852) 2735-4559

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your very important work organizing Filipino workers in HK. HK has a long way to go to honor the human rights of workers who care for HK's children, elderly, and families.