By Czarina Nicole Ong Ki
Migrant workers should be given “unconditional opportunity” to register their grievances while they are registering for repatriation programs.
Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Commissioner Gwendolyn Ll. Pimentel-Gana said this as she sought to secure justice to Filipino migrant members and their families amidst the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“The CHR is one with the migrants’ rights movement in advancing an urgent justice mechanism for repatriated migrant workers, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families in distress,” she said.
There are some migrant workers who have grievances such as wage theft, non-payment of dues and end of service benefits. During the repatriation process, Pimentel-Gana said that they should be able to secure powers of attorney for the pursuance of their cases and complaints.
The CHR stressed that authorities should ensure due diligence so that migrants are not repatriated without being given the opportunity to record his or her labor complaints.
When migrant workers arrive at their country of origin, Pimentel-Gana said that the government must properly document their grievances for redress purposes.
Pimentel-Gana said the CHR will continue to engage with government and civil society groups in order to find just and sustainable solutions for the problems faced by migrant workers.
She added that the CHR will help give them “access to justice and redress for labor rights and human rights issues and violations.”