A PHILIPPINE official has called on governments to uphold the human rights of migrants regardless of their immigration status.
Philippine Labor and Employment Undersecretary Bernard P. Olalia aired the Philippines’ call on the first day of the three-day Asia-Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting (RPM) for the Global Compact on Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration (GCM) in Bangkok from November 6 – 8.
The RPM is organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). Undersecretary Olalia is Co-Leader of the Philippine Delegation to the meeting.
He stressed that “the GCM should contain the affirmation of the human rights of all migrants, regardless of their immigration status.”
“Migrants should be empowered and seen as agents of development,” he added.
He emphasized that “migration has been a primordial concern of the Philippines for the past 40 years and the protection of the rights and promotion of the welfare and interest of its migrants has been deeply embedded in its foreign policy.”
“Migrants should be recognized and acknowledged for their positive contribution to the development of countries of origin and destination. The GCM should facilitate greater labor mobility and social and financial inclusion of migrants,” Olalia added.
The Asia Pacific region accounts for 102 million international migrants. According to UNESCAP, migrants’ remittances in the region are estimated to reach USD 276 billion this year. One fourth of the GDP of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Nepal are derived from remittances of their international migrants.
UNESCAP is the regional development arm of the United Nations for the Asia-Pacific region. Established in 1947, UNESCAP has 53 member States and 9 associate members. Its geographical scope stretches from Turkey in the west to the Pacific island nation of Kiribati in the east, and from the Russian Federation in the north to New Zealand in the south. It is the largest UN body serving the Asia-Pacific. Its headquarters is in Bangkok, Thailand.