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The Philippine government has submitted to the International Labor Organization (ILO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland a crucial document that will help pave the way for the improvement of the working conditions of migrant domestic workers worldwide. A news release of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday said the Philippine government deposited to the ILO headquarters on Wednesday the Instrument for Ratification of ILO Convention 189, otherwise known as the "Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers." The Philippines' act of depositing the Instrument of Ratification will pave the way for the implrementation of the convention next year, the DFA explained. The Philippines is the second country to ratify the ILO Convention, adopted by the 100th ILO Conference in June last year.
The DFA said Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Evan Garcia, presented the Instrument of Ratification to ILO Director General (DG) Juan Somavia on September 5. The Philippines, through the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), chaired the ILO Committee on Decent Work that finalized the draft convention. On August 20, the Philippines also deposited its Instrument of Ratification for the Maritime Labor Convention, another landmark international labor agreement.
Based on national surveys in 117 countries, ILO estimates the number of domestic workers worldwide at around 53 million. However, including unregistered domestic workers, experts said the number could be as high as 100 million. ILO Convention 189 The Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers states that "domestic work continues to be undervalued and invisible and is mainly carried out by women and girls.." The convention noted that many of the world's domestic workers are "migrants or members of disadvantaged communities and who are particularly vulnerable to discrimination in respect of conditions of employment and of work, and to other abuses of human rights." The convention promotes, among others:
(a) the domestic workers' right to freedom of association and collective bargaining;
(b) the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labor;
(c) the abolition of child labor; and
(d) the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation. The convention also specifies that domestic workers will be entitled to written contracts that will include:- VVP, GMA News
(a) the name and address of the employer and of the worker;
(b) the address of the usual workplace or workplaces;
(c) the starting date and, where the contract is for a specified period of
time, its duration;
(d) the type of work to be performed;
(e) the remuneration, method of calculation and periodicity of payments;
(f) the normal hours of work;
(g) paid annual leave, and daily and weekly rest periods;
(h) the provision of food and accommodation, if applicable;
(i) the period of probation or trial period, if applicable;
(j) the terms of repatriation, if applicable; and
(k) terms and conditions relating to the termination of employment, including
any period of notice by either the domestic worker or the employer.