Last Nov. 11, Thursday, virtually launch the Philippines’ National Action Plan to Mainstream Fair and Ethical Recruitment (NAP-FER) where the CEO of the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery Alex Thier, reiterated that when it comes to protecting workers, the Philippines is leading by example. “We come together to imagine a world in which every person striving for dignity, justice, and prosperity can find decent work and at a fair wage. Where instead of traveling abroad to find exploitation and degradation, they find fulfillment and decency,” he added.
As discussed at the online launch, one of the goals of the action plan was to eliminate the fees which burden OFWs that lead them to have debts before making it abroad. On the report released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Philippines, from 8,332 OFW returnees, 48% mention that they plan to return abroad
Thier also stated that the national action plan, alongside a robust anti-trafficking framework and a well-developed legal system in the Philippines could help improve the lives and working conditions of millions of OFWs.
Among the strategic objectives of the recruitment action plan were:
- Develop an incentives framework to strengthen the existing registration and licensing system for overseas labor recruiters.
- Develop a Code of Ethical Standards for Overseas Labor Recruitment and encourage its adoption by private recruitment agencies and recruitment industry associations.
- Develop and disseminate due diligence and self-assessment tools to enhance and streamline current policies and systems in line with international fair and ethical recruitment standards.
- Implement continuous capacity-building on Fair and Ethical Recruitment principles and standards.
- Conduct broad information, education, and communication campaign to raise awareness on the legal recruitment process, risks of illegal recruitment and human trafficking as well as workers’ rights and responsibilities.
- Improve existing mechanisms for reporting, monitoring, and redress of migrant workers’ grievances, identity and address gaps in OFWs’ access to these mechanisms.
Fe Nicodemus, founder of Kapisanan ng mga Kamag-anak ng Migranteng Manggagawang Pilipino, Inc. (Kakampi) hopes for the day to come when employers pay the costs of deployment so that our Filipino workers need not borrow money to be able to work abroad.