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DMW Backs ILO Convention 190 For The Safety And Protection Of OFWs

ILO Convention 190

MANILA – The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) has expressed its endorsement for the ratification of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 190 on Violence and Harassment, citing its significance in safeguarding overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

In a statement released on Wednesday, DMW officer-in-charge Undersecretary Hans Leo Cacdac emphasized that OFWs, particularly those in the household and service sectors, are especially vulnerable to physical and sexual harassment, particularly when working in the homes of their employers abroad.

“The ILO Convention allows the creation of an international framework for the protection of our OFWs. Certain groups of OFWs may be more vulnerable to violence and harassment, such as domestic workers, seafarers, health workers, and women workers,” stated Cacdac.

“The Convention is especially relevant for our overseas Filipino workers, who may face various forms of violence and harassment in their workplaces abroad, such as physical, psychological, sexual, or economic harm,” he added.

Cacdac emphasized that the DMW considers the ILO Convention as a groundbreaking instrument that upholds the protection and dignity of all workers, regardless of their employment status, sector, or occupation. Furthermore, it will contribute to the eradication of gender-based violence and harassment.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. endorsed the ratification of ILO Convention 190 to the Senate in a letter dated October 13. The DMW submitted a position paper to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by Senator Imee R. Marcos, explaining that the ratification of the Convention would demonstrate the Philippines’ commitment to promoting safe and decent work for all Filipinos, regardless of their destination country.

The DMW pledged to continue its efforts in empowering and protecting OFWs, which includes ongoing training and knowledge development, as well as providing remedies and assistance to those who experience violence and harassment in their work environments.

ILO Convention 190 came into force on June 25, 2021, and has been ratified by six countries, namely Argentina, Ecuador, Fiji, Namibia, Somalia, and Uruguay.

The Convention defines violence and harassment as “a range of unacceptable behaviors and practices, or threats thereof, whether a single occurrence or repeated, that aim at, result in, or are likely to result in physical, psychological, sexual, or economic harm, and includes gender-based violence and harassment.”

It encompasses both the formal and informal economy and applies to the workplace, work-related activities, or work-related communications.