TUCP seeks assistance of international labor organizations to stem entry of OFWs to Iraq

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) concerned over the faith of undocumented Filipino workers illegally entering Iraq is seeking the assistance of the International Labor Organization (ILO) to prevent more workers from slipping into the warn-torn country.

In a letter to Juan Somavia, Director General of the United Nations attached agency, the TUCP appealed to ILO to call on countries bordering the troubled country to prevent Filipino workers from using their borders to illegally slip into Iraq.

The Philippine Government since July this year has imposed a ban on the sending of contract workers to Iraq. However, due to persistence of some Filipino workers and with the collusion of recruitment agencies, thousands of Filipinos are believed to have slipped into Iraq using other countries not covered by the ban such as Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, as transit points.

The TUCP called on the ILO to take cognizance of the dangers posed by the practice of not only Filipino workers but also a host of other Asian nationalities in securing precarious jobs offered in Iraq.

“We write to you to seek the help of the ILO take cognizance of the issue and raise attention on the matter. Specifically, we appeal to ILO to call upon countries around Iraq to more closely monitor borders and prevent workers, particularly those without legitimate documentation, from entering Iraq,” TUCP President Democrito T. Mendoza wrote the ILO.

The TUCP stressed that unless measures are taken to stop migrant workers from illegally entering Iraq many more will be abducted and will be used as pawns in political struggles.

The ILO is an organization composed of representatives of government, labor, and employers groups, that is responsible for the crafting of labor related policies and wields considerable influence among member countries.

The TUCP also is also seeking the assistance of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), the umbrella group of national trade union centers to help in the campaign.

The ICFTU represents some 148 million workers from 234 affiliated organizations in 152 countries.

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