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De Lima vows to refile bill seeking stronger human rights education for OFWs

Senator Leila de Lima on Saturday vowed to refile a bill seeking to strengthen human rights education for overseas Filipino workers (OFW), as many continue to struggle with abusive employers.

In a statement, the senator said that the bill would strengthen the mandate of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in educating OFWs about the full extent of their rights.

"Abuses are still rampant among OFWs, with persistent reports of Filipino migrant workers suffering in the hands of their abusive employers because they don’t know the full extent of their rights," she said.

"We need to strengthen the CHR’s mandate by tasking it with the continuing education and information dissemination among OFWs about human rights before they leave the country, to their actual deployment, and its periodic monitoring," she added.

In the 17th Congress, De Lima filed Senate Bill (SB) No. 1785 seeking to amend Section 23 of R.A. No. 8042, as amended by R.A. No. 10022, mandating the CHR to “streamline human rights education programs for current and aspiring OFWs, in line with its function to implement preventive measures for Filipinos residing abroad who need protection."

The said measure was unacted upon by the Senate Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development Committee. 

"Nakakalungkot na hindi ito nakausad para maging ganap na batas. That’s why in the coming 18th Congress, I hope that my Senate colleagues can look at the importance of the measure highlighting human rights education for OFWs and help push for its swift passage into law," said De Lima. — Jessica Bartolome/MDM, GMA News

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