RP seeks end to racism vs migrant workers

Published by rudy Date posted on April 24, 2009

MANILA, Philippines—No discrimination against migrant workers and more protection of their human rights in the continuing global fight against racism.

This was the call made by the Philippines at the World Conference on Racism held in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

A statement from the department Thursday said that Severo S. Catura, undersecretary in the Office of the President and executive director of the Presidential Human Rights Committee of the Philippines, told the High-Level Segment of the Durban Review Conference that the current global financial and economic crises made migrants miss job opportunities and exposed them to “social exclusion, exploitation and xenophobia.”

The Philippine delegate also called on governments that had not signed the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (ICPRMW) to consider doing so to help ensure the protection and non-discrimination of migrants and members of their families.

“Migrants have become even more vulnerable in this global era, and thus need greater protection of their human rights as well as protection from racism and xenophobia,” Catura said.

This week, the Philippines is presenting its initial report in Geneva to the United Nations Committee on Migrant Workers, the body that oversees the implementation of the ICPRMW. Led by Permanent Representative Erlinda F. Basilio, the Philippine delegation took part in negotiations on the outcome document of the Durban Review Conference.

The outcome document of the Geneva Conference was adopted by consensus on Tuesday.

The Philippine delegation also contributed to the section devoted to fighting human trafficking, especially of women and children, and likewise cited the importance of addressing the problems of poverty and underdevelopment.

Catura shared the Philippines’ experiences in conducting interfaith dialogues at the local, national, regional and international levels as best practices in the promotion of tolerance, understanding and cooperation among different religious and ethnic groups.

Saying that the Philippines had always been an ardent supporter of the fight against racism, he cited the Manila Declaration Against Apartheid signed in 1982 stressing that apartheid was a crime against humanity. –Cynthia Balana, Philippine Daily Inquirer

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