Phl embassy urged to monitor Pinoy au pairs in Denmark

Published by rudy Date posted on November 3, 2014

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Philippine embassy in Copenhagen should investigate a report from a Danish labor union that nine out of 10 au pairs complaining of abuse from their host families in Denmark are Filipinas, Vice President Jejomar Binay said yesterday.

“In light of recent reports, I urge our embassy in Denmark to look closely into the current situation of our au pairs and make sure that their rights are protected,” he said in a statement.

The Commission on Filipinos Overseas describes an au pair as a young Filipino citizen aged 18 to 30 years old, unmarried and without any children, and placed under a cultural exchange arrangement with a European/American host family for a maximum of two years.

“On a par” or “equal to” in French, the au pair scheme means living on an equal basis in a mutual, caring relationship with the host family and the children.

Danish au pair network Fag og Arbejde said some Filipina au pairs in Denmark find themselves in the same situation as their domestic worker counterparts in Hong Kong.

Binay thanked Fag og Arbejde for bringing the matter to the attention of the government and for organizing Filipino au pairs and monitoring their working conditions.

The Philippines stopped sending au pairs to Europe in 1997 after the DFA received reports of maltreatment, including unfair compensation, excessive working hours, discrimination and sexual assault. –Helen Flores (The Philippine Star)

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