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Domestic worker rights video gets a staggering 15 million views in just one week

14 February 2017

The International Organization for Migration (IOM - UN Migration Agency) and the United States Agency for International Development's (USAID) video Open Doors: Singapore has become an overnight sensation in Asia. The video, aimed at preventing the exploitation of domestic workers, was viewed more than 15 million times over the past week. Produced by IOM and USAID's innovative counter-trafficking campaign, IOM X, and in partnership with ASEAN and UN Women, Open Doors: Singapore tells the... More

Maid about the house

16 January 2017

In Thailand, as in other countries of the region, employing domestic workers has long been a cultural and social practice as much as an economic one. In the past, such jobs were routinely filled by girls from the provinces and while often overworked and grossly underpaid, they were usually absorbed into the family, which provided them with some kind of security away... More

Domestic help better off as 'not in family'

16 January 2017

Treating domestic workers as if they are "part of the family" may lead to attitudes that are likely to be detrimental to them, a United Nations (UN) Women study has found. In the study released on Tuesday in Bangkok, focusing on migrant domestic workers in Thailand and Malaysia, researchers noted that many employers referred to their live-in domestic workers as "helpers" or as "aunties" and likened them to "family members". While these terms... More

Ensuring dignity of female migrant workers

23 December 2016

Today marks the international day for migrant workers. It is a day not only to celebrate the contribution of women and men who go to distant lands, away from their family and loved ones for long periods of time, it is also a day of reckoning of how best we, as a nation, can protect and promote the rights of those workers. This becomes imperative, as the nation as a whole is beneficiary of their labour and promoting 'safe migration' is an avowed policy of the state. Women constitute almost... More

UN Women to launch research publication on the state of migrant domestic workers in Thailand and Malaysia entitled, “Worker, Helper, Auntie, Maid?”

21 December 2016

With domestic work being increasingly taken over by migrants, domestic workers from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia are finally finding their way into the private households in Thailand and Malaysia. These housekeepers, nannies and caregivers are often caught between immigration law and employment law and excluded from labour rights and protections. ... More

Philippine workers overseas now living mores securely with implementation of new law

15 December 2016

The law, signed by former President Benigno Aquino III in May, reformed the overseas Workers Welfare Administration and turned it into a government agency receiving funding from the government, instead of only... More

Made in Cambodia, a day in the life of Chhun Srey Sros, a garment factory worker

08 December 2016

In Cambodia, 70 per cent of women are engaged in vulnerable employment; more than 500,000 work in garment and footwear factories. Empowering women to exercise their rights to decent work, UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (managed by UN Women on behalf of the UN system) is working closely with partners to ensure discrimination-free work environments in Cambodian factories. Chhun Srey Sros , 24, lives in Sangkat Chaom Chao and works in a Cambodian factory where UN Trust Fund and... More

From where I stand: Edna Valdez

26 October 2016

Edna Valdez, 58, a former migrant domestic worker, is now the President of Bannuar Ti La Union, an organization that works for migrant women’s rights in the La Union province of Philippines. Having experienced the hardships of migration first-hand, Ms. Valdez conducts trainings in her community about migrant workers’ rights, risks of illegal recruitment and trafficking, and access to services. More

Towards safe migration and decent work for women in Nepal

20 September 2016

Dawa Dolma Tamang migrated from rural Nepal to Abu Dhabi because she wanted to improve her livelihood and support her family. She ended up paying seven times more than what was required to the recruiting agency and was wrongfully denied work on medical grounds. With the help of Pourakhi, an organization working to protect migrant women’s rights, she was able to seek legal assistance and recover some of her money. Today, Tamang is working as a mason and will soon start taking the... More

Photo essay: In the Philippines, women migrant workers rebuild lives, advocate for each other

15 September 2016

In the past two decades, an annual average of 172,000 Filipino women have left the country as migrant workers, in the quest for decent work and adequate income. More

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