ANDREO C. CALONZO, GMA News
Lawmakers from the top five labor-sending Asian countries on Thursday urged host countries to enact laws protecting their citizens working abroad.
The lawmakers made the call to major destination countries for migrant workers such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain.
“It is imperative that sending countries and agree on a common strategy to urge receiving countries to adopt laws and regulations that promote the interests and welfare of migrant workers,” the lawmakers said in the statement.
Akbayan party-list Rep. Walden Bello, who represented the Philippines, described the collective stand of the Asian lawmakers as “very historic” in trying to push for the welfare of migrant workers, some of whom are suffering from “miserable, inhumane conditions.”
“This is an important effort to coordinate strategies to urge the governments of receiving countries to pass laws and regulations for migrant workers,” he said in a press briefing Thursday.
Bello, who heads the House committee on overseas workers’ affairs, said the five countries will carry this collective stand in other international organizations such as the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the International Labor Organization (ILO).
Decent work for domestic workers
The parliamentarians also urged the ILO to craft an internationally-accepted convention on decent work for domestic workers.
“We recognize the pressing need for strong support of this landmark convention, setting the minimum framework for national legislation that recognizes the contribution that migrant domestic workers make to the development of both their home and host countries,” they said in the statement.
The other parliamentarians who attended the event include Md. Israfil Alam from Bangladesh, Shantha Bandara from Sri Lanka, Mustaque Ahmed Ruhi from Bangladesh, Son Chhay from Cambodia, Shehan Semasinghe from Sri Lanka and Eva Kusuma Sundari from Indonesia.
The Philippines currently has over a million migrant workers abroad, mostly in the Middle East. – VVP, GMA News
In the end, Figura believes that as a priest, Bernas is still “pro-life and he is towards the anti-RH bill side.”
Meanwhile, a non government organization has called on the voting public to “learn its lesson” in the next elections and withdraw support from politicians who proposed measures that restrict access to contraceptives.
According to EnGende-Rights, these legislators include Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ralph Recto and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., and Reps. Roilo Golez (Paranaque), Pablo Garcia (Cebu), Rufus Rodirguez (Cagayan de Oro) and Amado Bagatsing (Manila).
“Those who believe in respecting, promoting, and upholding the rights of women should use their power as citizens to vote for people who will uphold the rights of women. Women are the ones who bear the brunt of the delayed passage of the RH (reproductive health) law and any restriction on their access to the full range of contraceptive methods,” lawyer Clara Rita Padilla, Executive Director of EnGendeRights, said in a press statement.
On Monday, the Senate bills providing for the safety and protection of the unborn will be heard in the Committees on Youth, Women and Family Relations, Constitutional Amendments, and Revision of Codes and Laws.
Last week, the anti-choice bill of Rep. Bagatsing was heard in the House Committee on Revision of Laws with Golez, Garcia, and Rodriguez supporting it. (Virgil Lopez and Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)
- [In the news] ASEAN ‘unlikely to discuss worker rights’ – the Jakarta Post (hronlineph.wordpress.com)
- [From the web] The case of Joan and 12 other women trafficked in Malaysia – www.kanlungan.ngo.ph (hronlineph.wordpress.com)
- [In the news] Solutions to migrant worker problems expected from ASEAN Summit – ANTARAnews (hronlineph.wordpress.com)