DOLE Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III today lauded the adoption of Fair Recruitment Principles and Operational Guidelines by an International Labor Organization (ILO) Tripartite Meeting of Experts in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday, 8 September.
“This landmark effort is made more significant by the fact that the Philippines presided over deliberations and negotiations as Chairperson of the ILO Experts Meeting, which comprised around 60 delegates, including tripartite experts from governments, workers’ and employers’ representatives, and observers from international organizations and civil society,” Bello said.
DOLE Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) – Geneva Labor Attaché Criselda Sy reported to Secretary Bello that the tripartite experts appointed Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac as Chairperson.
The Operational Guidelines aim to provide comprehensive guidance for ILO Member States on “fair recruitment”, which means recruitment of all workers in line with international labor standards and with respect for human rights, without discrimination and protecting workers from abusive situations.
The Guidelines provide specific reference to and protection of migrant workers, linked to 2013 ILO findings that 150 million workers worldwide, including 66 million women workers, were migrant workers.
Administrator Cacdac reported that the Experts’ Meeting adopted General Principles on observance of human rights and fundamental rights at work, as well as non-payment of recruitment fees by workers.
Alongside the General Principles are specific sets of Operational Guidelines that outline Responsibilities by Governments and Enterprises including Employers and Labor Recruiters.
The Operational Guidelines include, among others, the responsibility to observe “due diligence” in terms of assessing actual and potential human rights impacts of recruitment activities, as well as acting upon and tracking responses to such findings.
“These ILO Fair Recruitment General Principles and Operational Guidelines stand to benefit around 4.8 million OFWs who are already abroad, not to mention 1.8 million OFWs who leave our country every year, especially women OFWs in vulnerable work such as domestic work,” Bello added.
Labor Attaché Sy also reported that the ILO Governing Body shall pass upon the Operational Guidelines, for possible approval by the International Labour Conference in June 2017.