Press Release
November 2, 2012

Legarda Alarmed Over ILO Report of Abused Domestic Workers in Europe; Urges Ratification of ILO Convention 189

Senator Loren Legarda expressed deep concern over a report from the International Labour Organization (ILO) which revealed that despite clear domestic labor laws, domestic workers in Europe still suffer from abuses and discrimination.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said that there is an urgent need for European governments to ratify the ILO Convention 189 (Convention Concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers).

"I echo the call of the ILO on European governments to ratify the ILO Convention 189. The time has come for all of us to acknowledge the contributions of our household heroes into the global workforce, no longer as invisible hands but as domestic workers, equipped with the rights and benefits accorded others," she stressed.

Legarda, the driving force behind the Philippine Senate's concurrence in the ratification of ILO Convention 189, stressed that the Convention "is the manifesto that every domestic worker deserves and longs for. It is an international instrument that declares domestic work not as a favor to be granted but as an occupation to be protected. This Convention unveils the universal rights of domestic workers."

The Senator added that there are 1.5 million Filipinos working as domestic workers abroad, of which close to 800,000 Filipino workers are in Europe, who may be exposed to abuses and discrimination.

"We ratified ILO Convention 189 last August, and our advocacy for the rights of our domestic workers abroad was given unfettered meaning. We should thus lead the global campaign for protection of domestic workers and encourage other States to ratify the convention in order to provide the same rights and privileges and cultivate a culture of respect for all domestic workers the world over," Legarda said.

ILO reported the case of Coring, a domestic worker from the Philippines who lost her job in the Netherlands after insisting to take some days off.

ILO Convention 189 directs ILO-member states to institute measures "aimed at ensuring equal treatment between domestic workers and workers generally with respect to normal hours of work, overtime compensation, periods of daily and weekly rest, and annual paid leave."

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