Pinoys join calls for better treatment of migrant workers

‘Migrant Workers Parliament Day’ in Canberra

Filipino workers and rights activists joined over a hundred migrant women workers who trooped to Canberra on Wednesday [28 November] to call on the Australian government to ratify the UN Migrant Workers’ Convention.

The event called the ‘Migrant Workers Parliament Day’ was organised by the Australian Migrant and Refugee Women’s Alliance and the Asian Women at Work Inc.

“We went to Canberra to campaign for the ratification of the migrant workers convention,” said Lina Cabaero, coordinator at the Asian Women at Work and volunteer at the Blacktown-based Philippine Australian Community Services Inc (PACSI).

The women workers camped for a day in Canberra to press the Government to give attention to the plight of migrant workers, especially women.

“There are currently 215 million people across the world who have left their countries, homes and families in search of work, to escape poverty, conflict and discrimination,” said Cabaero, one of program convenors.

“They risk their lives for the opportunity to earn a living and seek a better life. At every step, they are vulnerable to exploitation, fraud and human rights abuses. Migrant workers and members of their families are some of the most vulnerable groups,” she said.

“Smuggled, trafficked, documented, undocumented, in a weak bargaining position or in otherwise dirty, dangerous or degrading employment, the experience of migrant workers in Australia is no exception to this grim outlook.”

She said many Filipina workers are also victims of exploitation in Australia and in many other countries.

Photos courtesy of Lina Cabaero

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