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Mission News


NYPM 17-2011

03 MARCH 2011

At UN Women Confab


03 March 2011 United Nations, New York The Philippines highlighted the need for the global protection of domestic workers’ rights at the United Nations even as the country gained recognition for the major inroads it had achieved in empowering Filipino women.

At the special event on “Good Practices on Protections for Domestic Workers” held at the sidelines of the 55 th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, Emmeline Verzosa, Executive Director of the Philippine Commission, pointed to the inroads achieved, including updates on the Batas Kasambahay Act (2004) or the Magna Carta for Domestic Workers.

“The Philippines is committed to empowering women and we continue to work very hard to ensure that the rights of women, particularly those in the most vulnerable sectors, are given the protection they rightly deserve,” said Ms. Verzosa in an interview after the panel discussion.

“When we show to the world what we are doing in our own country to address many concerns affecting women, other countries are encouraged to take the same positive steps,” added Ms. Verzosa.

“For domestic workers, this particularly takes on an important international dimension since many women have taken on domestic work outside of their own respective countries,” explained Ms. Verzosa.

Dr. Jean D’Cunha, Global Migration Adviser of UN WOMEN, who moderated the roundtable discussion, stressed the Philippines’ “impressive repertoire of good practices” relating to the protection of domestic workers from which other countries and governments can learn.

Conservative estimates from the ILO suggest that there are at least 112 million domestic workers from 29 countries in the world's five regions - Asia, Africa, Oceania, the Americas and Europe. According to UN WOMEN, despite its importance to development, domestic work is not considered formal employment because of its private nature and because it carries the low value of women's unpaid care work, often perceived as innate to women's nature and being. As a result, domestic workers are subject to a range of social and legal human rights violations.

Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Libran N. Cabactulan stressed the importance of events such as the roundtable discussion, saying “These are valuable fora where we can advance our national interests.”

“With an estimated nine million Filipinos working overseas, most of them women, we need to sustain the international community’s interest and commitment to protect the rights of peoples to a safe and secure working environment, particularly those in the most vulnerable sectors,” said Ambassador Cabactulan.

The special event was held jointly by the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN WOMEN), the International Labor Organization and the Government of the Philippines. The 55 th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women concludes on March 4 th. END




Robert E.A. Borje
Third Secretary
Philippine Mission to the United Nations
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