15 OCTOBER 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO-WDC) hosted a virtual forum for Filipino domestic workers working for various embassies, ministers and members of the diplomatic corps, as well as members of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington D.C. on October 15, 2021.
The webinar aims to respond to questions and concerns raised regarding a domestic worker’s contract of employment. These domestic workers are employed under special work visa programs, specifically the A3 and G5 visa programs.
US State Department Assistant Chief of Protocol for Diplomatic Affairs Nan Kelley discussed the rights and responsibilities of the domestic workers under these visa programs. “We want to be sure that A-3 and G-5 visa holders know they have rights in the United States, and that if they need help, there are resources available to provide assistance.” Kelley said. Her office also encouraged the attendees to either contact them directly for all concerns regarding their employment or seek the intervention of the Philippine Embassy or POLO.
This developed as the Philippine Embassy, through POLO-WDC, received at least three (3) requests for assistance and intervention from Filipino domestic workers regarding their salaries and complaints against abusive employers.
Consul General Iric Arribas also assured the audience of support and assistance from the Philippine Embassy and POLO-WDC, especially on matters concerning their personal security and well-being.
“We underscore the importance of continued collaboration between the Philippine Embassy and the US Department of State to educate our Filipino domestic workers of their rights in the United States and the Philippines and ultimately to protect the latter from any form of abuse,” Arribas stressed.
“As this webinar is being in the same month that the Trafficking Victims Protection Act was passed in the United States, all the agencies here present in this webinar commit to provide help, assistance and support to those who are victims or are potential victims of trafficking, including labor trafficking,” POLO-WDC Labor Attaché Angela Trinidad added in her closing statement. ###