Being a country with many migrant workers abroad, Philippines leads the promotion of women migrant rights in a forum in Switzerland. Ambassador Cecilia B. Rebong, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations and Other International Organizations, was among the lead panel speakers in a forum entitled "Protecting the Labour and Human Rights of Women Migrant Workers through the Universal Periodic Review," a side event to the 26thSession of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) that was held on November 04 at the Palais des Nations, Geneva. Ambassador Rebong shared the vast experiences of the Philippines in promoting and protecting the rights of migrants, in particular the women migrants. Ambassador Rebong likewise exhorted for the use of the UN mechanism in promoting and upholding women migrant workers' rights. She further called on States to ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (ICRMW). "As a migrant sending country, the Philippines, I think, is the only country that integrate as one of the three pillars of foreign policy the promotion and protection of migrants' welfare. All foreign service personnel are obliged by law to take care of all Filipinos abroad 24/7," she said. This remark sparked interest from the audience and panelists themselves, in particular, inspired the Moldova representative who will aim to introduce the same system in her home country. The Philippine Permanent Mission to the UN and Other International Organizations in Geneva co-organized the Forum with the UN Women, a UN entity for gender equality and women empowerment, as well as the Permanent Missions of Moldova and Mexico. The Forum is part of the UN Women awareness programme that aims to highlight the specific needs of women migrant workers in relation to the protection of their labor and human rights, and the role that international human rights mechanisms, including the UPR, can play in increasing the accountability of States to these rights. Other panelists to the Forum include officials from: the Permanent Missions to the United Nations of Moldova and Mexico; Ms. Pramila Patten, Expert from the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); Mr. Tauhid Pasha, Migration Expert - International Organization for Migration (IOM); Ms. Maria Gallotti, Specialist on Migration Policies - International Labor Organization (ILO); and from civil society organizations namely, Ms. Diana Cheianu-Andrei, Chair of the Centre for Investigations and Consultation; and Mr. Patrick Taran, President of the Global Migration Policy Associates.
Source: Philippine Information Agency