IOM to help Philippines government protect migrants in trouble overseas

Philippines - Filipino migrants, currently numbering over 10.4 million, can be found working in thousands of different occupations in almost every country in the world. This huge overseas migrant workforce coupled with a relatively limited number of diplomatic and consular staff presents a number of issues, particularly when an emergency situation breaks out in a host country. In view of this, IOM is today launching a project to support the Government of the Philippines in equipping frontline public servants with the skills to protect migrant workers caught up in crises abroad, whether it be an outbreak of conflict, an epidemic, a natural disaster or the effects of an economic downturn on a host country.

The project will consist of three phases, beginning with the production of a manual of standard operating procedures for assisting migrant nationals abroad in times of crises. This will be followed by the delivery of interactive training tools to benefit those already posted overseas and classroom training sessions for Foreign Service Officers, consular staff and embassy staff. It is hoped that the training will become a pre-requisite for staff deployment to the Assistance to Nationals Unit (ATNU), Philippines Overseas Labor Offices (POLO) and other service staff abroad.

Marco Boasso, Chief of Mission at IOM Philippines noted: “Through this project, we hope to support the government in promoting safe and orderly migration during the most critical times, and to empower frontline staff who find themselves in emergency situations that require quick action to promote the protection and well-being of Filipino migrant nationals.”

The two-year project, financed by the IOM Development Fund, is a response to a request made by the Philippine government in 2012, when the worsening crisis in Syria and the MENA region led to mass repatriations of thousands of Filipino workers.

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Ricardo Casco
Labour Migration/Migration and Development Unit, IOM Philippines
Tel:  +632 230 1752