Philippines calls for a human rights approach to recruitment of labor migrants


Above: Representatives from the ILO, IOM, the Governments of Canada, the Philippines, Representative of COPARMEX, Mexico, Filipino Workers Organisation, CIERTO Global at the side event on Fair and Ethical Recruitment at the 12th GFMD Summit, Quito, Ecuador

Left: Ambassador Evan P. Garcia, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations in Geneva, delivers opening remarks at the side event of the 12th GFMD Summit in Quito, Ecuador.

Quito, Ecuador, 21 January 2020 – Ambassador Evan Garcia, Permanent Representative to the Philippines Mission to the UN and other International Organizations in Geneva, highlighted the importance of institutionalizing a human rights approach to fair and ethical recruitment of labor migrants, at the 12th Summit of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) held in Quito, Ecuador.

In his Opening Remarks for the side event entitled “Enhancing partnership for ensuring fair and ethical recruitment and upholding the rights of migrant workers” organized by the International Labor Organization and the International Organization for Migration, Ambassador Garcia emphasized the Philippine approach to regulating recruitment and deployment to ensure that rights of migrants are respected in all steps of the process and in the countries of destination. Ambassador Garcia said that “countries of origin like the Philippines have found that indeed, we can regulate recruitment and deployment and initiatives, these can be pursued through bilateral cooperation, to ensure that recruitment regulation is monitored and enforced. There will be successes and failures, but there are mechanisms that can and should be put in place.  What remains beyond our grasp is how our people will be treated by their employers and host communities.  Will they enjoy their rights and freedoms?  Will they be able to avail of what they were promised in their contracts?  Will there be someone to speak and defend their rights when they are beyond our shores and beyond our reach? Will they be fairly treated?  Or will we once more be bringing home men and women traumatized by the experience, mentally or physically abused, or worse?  How do we make sure that migrants are treated well?”

Ambassador Garcia expressed the hope that discussion would help find answers to those critical questions, as fair recruitment should go “hand in hand with fair and ethical treatment, and the provision of appropriate mechanisms to enhance workers access to accurate information, and to justice.”   As the Philippine Government exerts all efforts to improve migration governance, host governments and employers should uphold their obligations to treat Filipino overseas workers with fairness and with dignity.

Ambassador Garcia led the Philippine delegation, composed of Mr. Villamor Plan, Deputy Administrator of the POEA, Minister and Consul Elena Maningat, and Labor Attache Cheryl Yangot-Daytec, to the 12th Summit of the GFMD in Quito, Ecuador from 20-24 January 2020 where the Philippines spoke of the rights of migrants, and reported on the status of the national implementation of the Global Compact for Safe Orderly and Regular Migration. END.