Tag Archives: Kanlungan Center

[Statement] Stop endangering migrant workers health and lives -KANLUNGAN

Stop endangering migrant workers health and lives

By now most of the world living with the pandemic is familiar with the concept of physical distancing as a key intervention to prevent the spread of the highly infectious virus and deadly COVID-19 disease.

People can catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick – World Health Organisation (WHO).

Despite this, there are numerous pictures of low-wage migrant workers being rounded up in immigration raids or crammed into transport, queues, accommodation, or detention – at dangerous risk to their health and others.

The dangerous politics of immigration control and social exclusion are laid bare. States have produced a context where migrant workers are rendered vulnerable.

There appears to be little effort by some authorities to even attempt to safeguard these workers by introducing physical distancing (including by reducing numbers of people) to minimize the person – person transmission of highly infectious COVID-19. This callous attitude and discriminatory action towards their health, safety, and lives is truly a low point for everyone in these societies.

Many low-wage migrant workers are anxious about becoming unwell, especially because they fear for their future economic security in the global recession.

All tools to reduce disease transmission must be employed to keep migrant workers safe including the urgent provision of quality accessible health information about how to stay safe and protect others, a sanitary environment, provision of free soap for frequent handwashing to prevent the spread of the disease; sufficient healthy food to boost their immune system; access to free voluntary COVID-19 tests and treatment. (Healthcare should have a firewall from immigration authorities).Physical distancing must not be neglected in the response.

During the global spread of a disease, a pandemic – governments are obligated to ensure the protection of human health and the fundamental right to human life.

Governments that are negligent in their duty to protect migrant workers’ health and dignity must be condemned. Stop the xenophobic scapegoating of migrant workers to deflect from government lapses in pandemic responses. Stop the technocratic obsession over COVID-19 statistics when politically motivated by a nationalist competition with other countries. Behind the numbers are the lives of people and their families – concentrate on that during the public health crisis.

State obligations under the fundamental right to health extend to all inhabitants and are not limited to citizens and residents. Migrant workers deserve and have a right to be fully included and protected in national pandemic preparation plans and responses.

An effective and just public health crisis response should be compassionate, guarantee health, safety and dignity for all and save lives

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[Statement] Kanlungan statement on the COVID-19

Kanlunugan Centre Foundation Inc. is one with all migrant workers and their families in this national, and global medical emergency. Migrant workers are risking their personal safety to feed their families, and in the process, producing remittances that help keep the Philippine economy afloat.

We are also expressing our gratitude to our health workers, our front liners who are braving all personal risks, to help provide the necessary services to those already affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The enhanced community quarantine, essentially a national lockdown, will further result in more economic displacements for daily wage earners, informal workers, and the urban poor, who have no safety nets. While the necessity of the quarantine is acknowledged, which came a little bit late actually, the reality is that millions of Filipinos have to earn their livelihood, on a daily basis. Isang-kahig, isang-tuka, so goes a local song.

It is therefore incumbent that the government release all available means of funds, to help cushion the economic impact of the quarantine to the daily survival of the more at risks citizens. The 2020 national budget contains pork barrel, which the lawmakers are “earmarking” for their special projects. Instead of thinking for the next general election in 2022, legislators and the executive branch should release this fund to help with the current emergency. The several billion pesos worth of intelligence funds could also be utilized to help in this emergency.

Many migrant workers are now sending emergency remittances to their respective families here in the Philippines, to allow them to buy basic necessities. This can be observed by recent long lines in money transfers business branches. These remittances will have the expected multiplier effect, a portion of it will provide for the immediate families, while some portion can be loaned out to others who are in great need, for their respective families. And yet, these OFWs themselves are facing uncertainty and displacement in their host countries, as the economic fallout is being felt anywhere in the world, except perhaps in very few countries.

Hence, we are calling the government to urgently act and provide immediate relief and assistance to our migrant workers:

1. All migrant workers regardless of status should be provided with medical and health care. As stated under the migrant workers act Section 19, the state is mandated to provide A) Counseling and legal services, and B), Welfare assistance including procurement of medical and hospitalization services.

2. Ensure that labour rights are protected and wages are not withheld by their employers, and their travel documents and passport should be in their possession.

3. If the migrant workers wish to be repatriated, all necessary assistance should be extended by the government.

4. Welfare services should be available at all times. Consular offices, missions, embassies should devise mechanisms to ensure that assistance is available and accessible. A 24/7 hotline should be available to OFWs.

5. This is also a call to the entire migrant community, to work together in this extraordinary time, ensure that the rights of everybody are protected. Let us help in popularizing the culture of migrant workers-helping-other migrant workers, regardless of status, race, religion, and political beliefs. The culture of mutual cooperation, solidarity, caring for the needy and other humanitarian acts will surely help us all in this global emergency.

6. We are also calling upon the national government to provide all necessary services to all returning migrants regardless of status, land-based or sea-based. Governments should provide the necessary welfare, health, psycho-social intervention, and legal services, including repatriation and reintegration of all migrants.

We cannot underscore enough that migrant rights are human rights, and these principles do not take a backseat even during emergencies but should be respected even more.

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[Statement] Workers Rights are Migrants Rights -KANLUNGAN

Workers Rights are Migrants Rights

Kanlungan’s response to the recent media debate by politicians’ about people who travel from China to work in the Philippines:

Job creation is a state obligation. It is the primary duty of governments, including the Philippines, to provide employment for citizens.

We strongly support local economic development as an alternative to the aggressive labour export policy of the Philippines.

As local workers face an economy with a lack of jobs and underemployment, addressing this must be the priority for the government.

Workers from overseas, who contribute to the development of the country, should be welcome if they bring skills and capabilities that are not found locally.
If they are prepared to do the work that local workers won’t do, that requires further investigation to ascertain why that is the case.

If it is found that workers from overseas are being exploited – earning lower wages and in poorer living and working conditions than locals, then the answer it to ensure the same labour rights for all workers (rather than division) to stop a race to the bottom in the treatment of all workers in the Philippine economy.

Independent research into the situation of migrant workers in the Philippines is important to inform the debate, as is research as to whether or not Filipinos can or would do those same jobs. Also transparency about conditions that the Chinese government demands in exchange for development assistance – including employment of their own workers – is important.

Migrants should never be blamed for the injustices of the system in which they find themselves working – governments are responsible for their context.

If workers are undocumented (human beings can’t be “illegal”), comprehensive research into how that happened is required. As many Filipinos know who have worked abroad, there are many reasons why a worker may become undocumented through no fault of their own.

It is also well known by those familiar with labour migration, that creating undocumented workers whom you can silence through the threat of deportation,
is a primary cause of the conditions in which workers are exploited and abused as cheap labour.

The principle of equal pay for equal work should be upheld in the Philippines, irrespective of the workers’ nationality, gender, race or religion.

All workers should have their rights protected and their contribution to development recognised.

We call upon the government to strengthen the commitment to build an economy where all workers rights and dignity are recognised, protected and upheld.

We call upon the government to ensure discrimination and inequality between workers are recognised as unacceptable and thus legally sanctioned.

We call upon the government not to exercise double standards in the treatment of workers who travel to the Philippines to work, compared to the international standards that we expect and demand for Filipino migrant workers overseas.
This is essential to prevent further undermining the rights and welfare of Filipinos working overseas.

Kanlungan Centre Foundation, Inc.
77 K-10 Street, East Kamias, Quezon City,
Philippines
Website: http://www.kanlungan.org
Email: kanlungan2008@gmail.com

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[Statement] Itulak ang pagpapatibay at pagpapatupad ng ILO Convention 189 -Kanlungan

ITULAK ANG PAGPAPATIBAY AT PAGPAPATUPAD NG ILO CONVENTION 189:

Matapos ang ilang taong paghihitay pormal ng nilagdaan ng kasalukuyang administrasyon ang ILO Convention 189 na kilala din bilang Magna Carta for Domestic Workers na ilang dekada ding inilaban sa pandaigdigang larangan. Ang paglagda ni Pangulong Aquino sa ILO Convention 189 ay bunga ng makasaysayang pagkilos ng organisasyon ng mga manggagawang migrante. Kung hindi naging mapagbantay ang mga organisasyong ito, maaaring naging matagal na naman ang prosesong ito. Sa kasalukuyan ang Uruguay pa lamang ang nagpatibay ng nasabing kumbensiyon, kung ito ay mapapagtibay ng Kongreso ang Pilipinas ang papangalawa sa Uruguay.

Ang nasabing kumbensiyon ay nagbibigay ng kalayaan at karapatan sa mga kasambahay na mag organisa at magtamasa ng mga karapatan gaya ng isang regular na manggagawa. Binibigyan ng kumbensiyon ang mga kasambahay ng karadagang benepisyo gaya ng pagliban kung nagkakasakit ( sick leave) at iba pang benepisyo na tinatakda ng ating batas pagagawa o Labor Code. Isa rin sa probisyon ng 189 ang pagkakaroon ng batayan na sahod para sa mga kasambahay.

Ang ILO convention 189 ay magbibigay ng kasiguruhan sa paggawa ang ating mga kasambahay. Binibigyan ng kumbensiyon na magkaroon ng batayan na kontrata ang mga kasambahay at maprotektahan sila laban sa hindi makataong trato .

Subalit dapat pa rin tayong maging mapagbantay at masigasig upang tiyak na maipapatupad ang nasabing kumbensiyon. Maliban sa nasabing kumbensiyon ang bansang Pilipinas ay lumagda sa maraming kumbensiyon gaya ng International Convention on the Protection of Migrant Workers and their families , subalit ang nasabing kumbensiyon ay hindi pa rin pinagtitibay ng mga bansang pinagpapadalahan ( receiving countries) ng ating lakas paggawa kaya sa suma tutal ay hindi pa rin protektado ang ating mga manggawa sa ibayong dagat.
Dapat na kilalin ang nasabing kumbensiyon at maging salalayan ng batayang karapatan ng mga kasambahay lalo na sa panahong nanalasa ang globalisasyon at ang turing sa mga manggagawa ay kalakal.

Umaasa tayo na ang hakbang ng pamahalaan ay sinsero at walang bahid ng pagkukunwari . Bukod sa pagpaptibay ng nasabing kumbensiyon dapat na pagtuunan ng kasalukuyang pamahalaan ang pagpapunlad ng lokal na ekonomiya nang sa gayon ang migrasyon ay isa lamang opsiyon at hindi ang tanging opsiyon. Nagsisimula pa lamang ang laban !

Hinahamon natin ang Senado kasama na ang Pangulong Aquino na patunayan na sinsero ang kasalukuyang pamahalaan na protektahan ang mga manggagawa.

Sa isang bansa na gaya ng Pilipinas na mas itinutulak ang kanyang mamayan na mangibang bayan kaysa sa pag-papaunlad ng economiya ay dapat na maging matapat sa pagtupad ng kanyang tungkulin na protektahan at itaas ang dignidad sa paggawa.Wala tayong ilusyon na kusang loob na ibibigay ang mga karapatang ito ng madalian Nangangailangan pa rin ng puspusang pag oorganisa sa hanay ng mga kasambahay upang tiyakin na ang mga karapatang na nakamit ay hindi lamang panandalian . Bagkus ito ay magbubukas ng mga bagong arena at tungalian upang lalong patibayin ang makauring pagkakaisa ng mga manggagawa sa loob at labas ng bansa.

Kanlungan Centre Foundation Inc.

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[From the web] The case of Joan and 12 other women trafficked in Malaysia – www.kanlungan.ngo.ph

source: www.kanlungan.ngo.ph

Photo by KANLUNGAN

Joan (not her real name) is 31 years old, from Novaliches, Quezon City, and has two children aged ten and nine. Last year, Joan was recruited to work in Malaysia as a waitress. She left the Philippines on December 4, 2009, expecting to work at a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

However, upon arriving there, she was locked up in a room with 14 other Filipino women, and told that they will soon be deployed to different pubs where they will work as prostitutes. She immediately texted her husband, who then proceeded to report to Kanlungan Centre Foundation about his wife’s condition.

Kanlungan immediately contacted one of its partner organizations in Malaysia, Teneganita, which then facilitated her rescue along with 11 other Filipina women.

Since December 2009, Joan has been staying at an immigration center in Silangcor Malaysia, which has a shelter for trafficked women. She, and the 11 other women, had filed a complaint to the magistrate against their employer, and they are all waiting for the resolution of the case.

In the meantime, Joan reports that conditions in the shelter are less than ideal. She tells her family that there is hardly enough food and water for them, and that the shelter is unsanitary. Some of the women have already succumbed to sickness. They also complained of being treated like criminals by the Malaysian authorities, instead of human trafficking survivors. They are appealing to the Philippine government to make hasten their repatriation back to the country.

On behalf of Joan and the other trafficked women, Kanlungan has repeatedly filed the necessary reports and appeals to the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Philippine Embassy in Malaysia to facilitate their legal concerns and immediate repatriation. So far, there has still been no satisfactory response.

In the meantime, Joan sits in her room, and waits.

[Kanlungan Centre Foundation, Inc. is a non-stock, non-profit organization engaged in direct service, advocacy work, research, and policy interventions for Filipino migrant workers who are survivors of human trafficking, illegal recruitment, workplace abuse and non-payment of wages, as well as their families and their communities.

Founded on July 17, 1989, Kanlungan initially operated as a crisis intervention center for prospective, on-site and returned migrant workers, as well as their families. In 1992, the organization decided on a more holistic approach, which would enhance the workers’ individual and collective strengths and advocating for social and policy change. Thus, it expanded its services to include legislative and policy advocacy, organizing of families of overseas workers, education and training, research, information and publication and, most recently, local economy development and capability building.

Kanlungan Centre Foundation, Inc. is a done institution accredited with the Philippine Council for Ngo Certification. To know more about KANLUNGAN and their advocacy visit www.kanlungan.ngo.ph ]