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Domestic workers economic contributions cited

Manila Bulletin - 19 October 2012. A forum on migration hosted by the Philippines has resolved to use International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention No. 189 in identifying gaps in existing government policies, programs and structures in order to improve the protection of domestic workers.

By ROY C. MABASA

MANILA, Philippines --- A forum on migration hosted by the Philippines has resolved to use International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention No. 189 in identifying gaps in existing government policies, programs and structures in order to improve the protection of domestic workers.

ILO 189 is the first international instrument on domestic workers which now forms part of a growing framework of human rights instruments and international labor standards for migrant domestic care workers.

This framework includes the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, its General Comment No. 1 on Migrant Domestic Workers, the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and its General Recommendation No. 26 on Women Migrant Workers.

ILO estimates that there are 53 to 100 million domestic workers worldwide, 83 percent of whom are women. According to the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), there are over 3.4 million Filipino domestic workers here and abroad.

During the two-day Global Forum for Migration and Development (GFMD) Preparatory Workshop on “International Migrant Domestic Care Workers at the Interface of Migration and Development: Action to Expand Global Practice in the Asian Region,” all the 60 participants from 19 countries, mostly from the Asian Region, acknowledged the financial contributions of domestic workers and the multiplier effect these remittances could have when spent on education, health and entrepreneurial activities.

Beyond financial remittances, however, the delegates recognized the social contributions of migrant domestic workers through skills and knowledge transfer, greater confidence and empowerment.

According to United Nations Women Regional Director Roberta Clarke, this is also known as the “empowerment effect."

“If we amplify the empowerment effect of increased skills, confidence, technology and training, migrant domestic care workers will be enabled to claim their rights, celebrate their contributions, and influence the laws and policies that impact their lives,” Director Clarke explained in her speech.

At the end of the workshop, the delegates adopted a set of recommendations on strengthening the protection of the rights of migrant domestic care workers and empowering them as development actors. These recommendations will be presented in Roundtable 3.3 on “Protecting Migrant Domestic Workers: Enhancing their Development Potential” of the GFMD Summit in Port Louis, Mauritius.

The GFMD is the world’s pre-eminent dialogue on international migration. It is a concrete outcome of the 2006 High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development where Member States endorsed the proposal of the Secretary-General to create a forum to continue the global dialogue on international migration and development. The first session of the GFMD was hosted by Belgium in 2007, followed by the Philippines in 2008, Greece in 2009, Mexico in 2010, Switzerland in 2011 and Mauritius in 2012.

The forum was made possible with support of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the Mauritian Chair of the GFMD.

 

Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/377901/domestic-workers-economic-contributions-cited

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