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Run for Decent Work for Domestic Workers:
Labor, migrant, domwork groups launch 12-in-12 campaign 

The growing alliance of trade unions, migrant organizations, domestic workers’ organizations, and civil society groups is coming together once again at the penultimate day of the Month of Overseas Filipinos (MOF). This time, they will run side by side in a Fun Run on International Migrant’s Day, December 18, at the Quezon Memorial Circle, to launch the Philippine 12-in-12 campaign for Decent Work for Domestic Workers. The Fun Run starts at 5:30am.

12-in-12 is an international campaign for the ratification of International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers.

“The DomWork Convention protects the human and labor rights of all domestic workers including the right to organize, improves their wages and working conditions, provides them written work contracts and social protection,” said Julius Cainglet, Assistant Vice President of the labor group Federation of Free Workers.

“This is in recognition that domestic are workers and as such, they are entitled to all the rights, benefits and privileges that other types of workers enjoy,” added Cainglet.

The 12-in-12 campaign aims to get 12 countries, including the Philippines, to ratify C.189 in the year 2012. Worldwide the key role that the Philippine government, trade unions, domestic workers’ organizations and civil society groups played in pushing for the adoption of C.189 at the International Labor Conference (ILC) in Geneva in June this year, has been recognized.

The Philippine government, who chaired the DomWork Committee at the ILC that deliberated on the contents of the newly adopted treaty, vowed to be one of the first countries to ratify the ILO Convention. This will set a strong message to the other member-states of the ILO to do the same. For the Convention to come into force, it must be ratified by at least two member-countries of the ILO as soon as possible.

“Ratifying C.189 will be of great benefit to overseas Filipino workers, many of whom are working as domestic workers in the Middle East and Europe,” said Cainglet. “With the Convention in effect, Filipino domestic workers will get more protection against abuses and exploitation in the hands of abusive employers, regardless of their nationality.”

An important part of the 12-in-12 campaign in the Philippines is the passage of a local law on Domestic Work, which is a requirement under C.189. While the Senate has passed its version of the Domestic Workers Act, the House of Representatives is still conducting hearings on the proposed law at the Committee level. President Benigno “PNoy” Aquino has listed the DomWork Act as one of the administration’s priority bills during his last State of the Nation Address.

At the upper chamber, Sen. Loren Legarda has already passed a resolution calling for the ratification of C.189. Senate concurrence is necessary for the ratification of international treaties that the Philippine government enters into.

Leading the 12-in-12 campaign in the Philippines is the Technical Working Group of the Philippine Campaign for Decent Work for Domestic Workers composed of trade unions such as the FFW, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines and Alliance of Progressive Labor; the Samahan at Ugnayan ng Manggagawang Pantahanan sa Pilipinas; Migrant Forum in Asia; government agencies Department of Labor and Employment and Philippine Commission on Women; and Visayan Forum Foundation, who also acts as secretariat.

The MOF is being commemorated every December. The Inter-Agency Committee (IAC), established through Administrative Order 2012, is tasked to look into the preparation of a program to commemorate the events that promote the welfare of Filipino migrants and recognize the outstanding achievements and contributions of overseas Filipinos to the Philippines and the global community.

The IAC has hosted four other major events in line with the MOF celebration. The Fun Run, which is spearheaded by Philhealth, SSS and Pag-IBIG, is dedicated to OFWs and their families to raise public awareness about the MOF. #

FREE WORKERS

FREE WORKERS

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