Committee on Rights of Migrants publishes Concluding Observations on The Philippines

The UN Committee for the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (CMW) published on 1 May 2009 its concluding observations on the first report of the Philippines (UN Doc. CMW/C/PHL/CO/1). The Committee guards the respect of the International Convention on the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. Within them, it establishes some principles related to the right of migrants according to the Convention.

The Committee started by stressing the established principle of international law that non-discrimination must be respected regardless of the principle of reciprocity:

23.    The Committee notes with interest that the principle of non-discrimination exists de jure in the Philippine Constitution, RA 8042, as well as a number of legislative measures. The Committee is concerned however, that, in practice, foreign workers in the Philippines are granted rights only under certain conditions, such as reciprocity, which may not be in line with the Convention.
24.    The Committee reiterates that the exercise of human rights is not based on the principle of reciprocity and recommends that the State party take the necessary steps to align its domestic legislation with the Convention. 

Finally, n the the right to be part and form a trade union, the Committee stated the right to all migrants, also irregular, to enjoy fully such a right:

33.    The Committee is concerned about the fact that restrictions exist on the exercise of foreign migrant workers lawfully residing in the Philippines to engage directly or indirectly in trade union activities, as this right is only recognised for those migrant workers who are lawfully residing and working in the Philippines if they are nationals of a country which grants the same or similar rights to Filipino workers. The Committee is concerned that holding the right to join and establish a trade union subject to reciprocity is in violation of the Convention.
34.    The Committee reiterates the 2008 request by the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations in relation to ILO Convention No. 87 concerning Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise that the State party take the necessary measures, including legislative amendments to sections 269 and 272(b) of the Labour Code, to guarantee to all migrant workers and members of their families lawfully residing within the Philippines the right to join, form and to form part of the leadership of, associations and unions, in accordance with article 40 of the Convention on Migrant Workers, as well as with ILO Convention No. 87, not subject to reciprocity.

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1 Comment

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