Senator Loren Legarda today reiterated her commitment to pushing for the ratification of a convention for domestic workers and stressed that the Philippines shall be at the forefront of the campaign to ensure decent work for the kasambahays.
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said that the ratification by the Philippines and by other nations of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention No. 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers shall pave the way for the proper recognition of domestic workers’ important role in the households they are employed in and their contribution to the economy.
In the Senate hearing convened by Legarda, the Department of Foreign Affairs stated that only Uruguay has completed the process of ratification of the ILO Convention 189, which shall only enter into force after at least two nations have accomplished the ratification process.
“Upon the resumption of the Legislative Session in July, we shall push for the immediate concurrence by the Senate in the ratification of this convention for domestic workers. Our aim is for the Philippines to be at the forefront of the global campaign for the ratification of ILO Convention 189,” she stressed, noting that the kasambahay bill, which the Senator co-authored, is also pending in the Senate.
“We must do this for the sake of more than three million Filipino domestic workers both here and abroad who all wish to be recognized as legitimate workers, not slaves, and be accorded decent working conditions, just compensation and sufficient benefits,” she added.
The Senator also expressed her commitment to ILO Convention 189 during the “Walk for Freedom” event organized by the Visayan Forum, the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), and Walk Free to push for greater action against human trafficking and modern-day slavery.
Legarda, author of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act (RA 9208) and sponsor of the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act (under Senate Bill 2625), stressed the importance of the event in sending the message that everyone must join in the effort to combat human trafficking, sex trade, forced labor and other forms of slavery.
“I believe that with ILO Convention 189 and the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, we are making significant strides. I am counting on all of you for support throughout the approval and implementation of these measures because this is a fight that we can win only by remaining united,” she pointed out.
“Let it be said that we are a nation that refuses to stand idly by while abuses and injustices are felt by millions worldwide. Let it be said that we will continue to fight until every individual, regardless of status in life, can finally live in freedom,” Legarda concluded.***