Philippines: good practices for the protection of Filipino women migrant workers in vulnerable jobs

Focuses on the situation of the women migrant workers in their families, workplaces, communities and societies in sending and receiving countries and also on the initiatives, policies and programmes, “good” and “bad” practices implemented by government, private recruitment and employment agencies and a wide range of social actors to assist and protect women migrants against exploitation and abuse and to prevent them from being trafficked.

The breadth and depth of Filipino overseas migration is a telling commentary on the crisis of Philippine socio-political and economic life. Above all, overseas migration means the loss of millions of skilled and unskilled Filipino workers due to the lack of employment opportunities and to the inadequacy of wages at home. In October 2000, 3.4 million Filipinos were unemployed, out of a labour force of 33 million, 1 and every year, some 800,000 young people begin looking for work in a contracting and job-scarce economy. Even for many Filipinos who have jobs the situation is far from satisfactory: one of every five employed workers, is underemployed, that is, underpaid, working part-time or employed below his/her full productive potential. At the same time, labour productivity has been stagnant over the past 12 years (1987–1999), growing by only 6 per cent per year on average. Philippine labour has, thus, suffered a loss of competitiveness compared with its neighbors Malaysia and Thailand.