By Marita Moaje
MANILA – Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople will be presenting the Philippine government’s migration governance, programs, and services for Filipino migrant workers at the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (CMW) at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
“The Philippine delegation intends to brief the UN about our one-country team approach to migration governance as well as on the creation of the Department of Migrant Workers. We will also be reporting on how various departments have been working together to promote the core principles behind the UN convention,” Ople said in a press release issued on Monday.
She said the Philippine delegation’s attendance at the international convention that will run from March 30-31, is part of the government’s continuing and open engagement with the United Nations and the international community on human rights under the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.
The delegation will be co-chaired by Philippine Ambassador Evan Garcia of the Philippine Mission in Geneva, and Executive Director of the Presidential Human Rights Committee Secretariat and Undersecretary Severo Catura.
The Philippine delegation includes senior officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), and the Supreme Court’s Office of the Court Administrator as well as the Presidential Human Rights Committee Secretariat.
“We welcome this opportunity for the Philippine government to present its record of compliance in the protection of the rights and welfare of our overseas Filipino workers before the international community,” Ople said.
She added that aside from the presentation by the DMW, other agencies will also be presenting their programs and services for Filipino migrant workers and members of their families.
Member-states that are signatories to the Convention are asked to appear every five years before the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families at the United Nations in Geneva.
The UN body is composed of labor migration experts representing various countries that have been elected to a seat on the committee.
However, the periodic reporting to the UN body was disrupted by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
The last time the Philippines presented its periodic report to the UN on the protection of the rights of migrant workers was in 2014 headed by then Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
During that time, Ople said, the UN committee in its Concluding Observations on the 2nd Periodic Review expressed appreciation for the “expressed high-level political will by the State party to respond to the needs of migrant workers abroad.” (PNA)