The inaugural Manila Conference on Labor Migration took place over two days in Manila, the Philippines, from 12-13 May 2015, hosted by Philippine Red Cross Society and IFRC. The event brought together a diverse collection of experts and interested parties from specialist international organizations, aid agencies, local non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions. The conference will provide a forum for discussions about labor migration with a specific focus on female domestic workers. Representatives from Ministries of Labor and Foreign Affairs were also invited to participate in the hope that their presence will encourage greater discussion and local and inter-regional collaboration between the authorities and the humanitarian sector.
The RCRC Manila Conference on Labor Migration in May 2015 is part of a series of migration-related events that are under the umbrella of the Doha Dialogue on Migration 2014. The Doha Dialogue began in May 2014, and was followed by the Regional Inter-cultural and Inter-religious Dialogue in Yangon 2015.
A series of presentations and panel discussions will explore the various issues relating to the humanitarian aspects of labor migration as well as the matter of partnerships and networking among the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Other topics for discussion will include the use of modern technology to better protect migrant workers, and the next steps needed to ensure the working experience for migrant workers overseas is fair and humane. The event also showed the Photograph Exhibit “No One Should Work This Way”. See more on the news of the photograph exhibit.
Specific objectives of the 2-day event included:
- Strengthen collaboration and partnership for the protection of labor migrants, with a specific focus on female domestic workers, by bringing together experts across Asia Pacific and the Middle East North Africa.
- Identify current challenges faced by female domestic workers, and best practices to reduce their vulnerability, with the aim of strengthening humanitarian services for labor migrants.
- Advocate more strongly for the protection of migrant’s rights and access for humanitarian support in both sending and receiving countries.
Panel discussions during the event included:
- Panel “Challenges and Issues in protecting Migrant Women Household Service Workers”
- Panel “Human Face of Migration”
- Panel “Creating a Red Cross Red Crescent Humanitarian Lifeline”
- How Government and Red Cross Red Crescent Work Together to Protect the Migrant Women Household Service Workers
- How Technology Can Make Us Effective in Helping Migrant Women Household Service Work
- Open forum: The Strength of Partnership
The event was concluded with the signing of Manila Declaration.