PH seeks UN probe into abuse of migrants

October 27, 2019

THE Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York has requested the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons to investigate the exploitative practice by employers of keeping the passports of their migrant workers.

Charge d’Affaires Kira Christianne Azucena of the Philippine Permanent Representative to the UN also asked the Special Rapporteur to examine the regulations that tie residence visas of workers to employers.

The practice of employers keeping the passports of migrant workers is mostly happening in the Middle East.

Many migrant workers who have been victims of abuse could not leave their employers because their passports and residence permits are with their employers.

As this developed, the Philippines has called on other States to promote, protect and fulfill the human rights of migrants.

“We have always valued equality between all human beings regardless of race, color, sex, ethnicity and whatever other invidious categorizations there are,”  Azucena said in her statement while addressing representatives of Member States and UN agencies during the general discussion of the Third Committee of General Assembly on the agenda item “Promotion and protection of human rights.”

Azucena highlighted that human rights underpin the development of Philippine laws and policies, including through the national plan “Ambisyon Natin 2040.”

She also referred to PH’s 10-point socio-economic agenda which aims to combat generational poverty, improve living standards, promote peace and maintain law and order and sustain high economic growth by fighting criminal trends that undermine human capital development.

Azucena expressed the Philippines’ deep concern about the growing resistance to the recognition, promotion, protection and fulfillment of the human rights of migrants and called on States to recognize and protect migrants’ rights in line with the principles and objectives of the Global Compact for Migration.

“It appears to the Philippines that on the issues of protecting these vulnerable persons, the approach now is to accomplish their extinction by leaving them to the mercy of the elements of nature and the perils of their forlorn journeys to safety,” Ms. Azucena added.

The Third Committee began its work on October 1, 2019 to discuss social, humanitarian and human rights issues.

Meanwhile, Azucena and United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) High Representative Miguel Angel Moratinos both agreed to explore collaborative initiatives to advance the organization’s priority actions on migration.

This is in addition to current initiatives on counter terrorism, education youth and women

Moratinos and Azucena affirmed the strong PH-UNAOC partnership in promoting the importance of intercultural and interreligious dialogue to promote harmony, social inclusion and mutual respect especially in today’s multipolar world.