Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has reiterated calls for better protection of migrant workers and urged member countries of the Gulf Cooperating Council to promote decent work in light of the rampant cases of maltreatment and abuse on Filipino workers in Middle East.

This was the message of the labor secretary at the conclusion of the first round of Negotiations for the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM) held recently in New York, USA.

“With the recent issues surrounding the deaths of our kababayans in Kuwait as well as the unfair treatment of some of our domestic workers overseas, the GCM is a good platform to tell the world that labor migration is a serious business and that every member country of the United Nations particularly the receiving/host countries should create an environment that promotes decent work to migrant workers regardless of their status,” Bello said.

During the negotiations, DOLE proposed to specify domestic workers/household service workers as one of the vulnerable groups in labor migration framework, as well as to enhance every host country’s legislations to protect originally regular migrants whose status became irregular by the reason of employment related disputes.

DOLE has also proposed to ratify the Domestic Workers Convention (ILO C189) and the UN Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families to ensure comprehensive protection to all migrant workers, both land-based and sea-based.

Also, DOLE encouraged strengthened bilateral cooperation and mechanism between the countries of origin and destination to better protect the rights and welfare of the overseas Filipinos, particularly those in the vulnerable sector.

The global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration, which will be adopted by the UN Member States in September 2018, will set out a framework for comprehensive cooperation on migrants and human mobility.

DOLE, together with Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has been actively participating in the preparatory process of the GCM with recommendations in safeguarding the interests of the Filipino migrants.

END/ Abegail De Vega

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