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Report/Press release

Filipino community grieves the death of another Filipino woman under the Live-in Caregiver Program

Date

2008

Authors

Magkaisa Centre

Abstract

On June 6, 2008 a Thornhill family arrived home to find their Filipino nanny dead. According to media reports, the 39-year-old Filipina was found face down in the deep end of the backyard pool.

Series title

Magkaisa Centre

Responsible institution

Magkaisa Centre

Notes

On June 6, 2008 a Thornhill family arrived home to find their Filipino nanny dead. According to media reports, the 39-year-old Filipina was found face down in the deep end of the backyard pool.

Members of SIKLAB- Ontario, the Philippine Women Centre of Ontario and Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada-Filipino Canadian Youth Alliance (UKPC-FCYA) are in full sympathy and support in this trying period with the family of this woman.

“This unfortunate death is another addition to the growing tragedy in the export and commodification of Filipinos under the labour export policy (LEP) of the Philippine government. We hope that this Filipina nanny’s death will not just become another anonymous statistic of unexplained death,” said Yolyn Valenzuela, national vice-chairperson of SIKLAB- Canada.

According to Ian Nillas, member of UKPC-FCYA, “in less than a year, we mourned Jocelyn Dulnuan and Arcelie Loagan, both temporary workers under the LCP. This is another senseless and tragic death of women who left their homes in order to seek a better future abroad. Now another Filipina nanny has been found dead in the home of her employers.”

“These deaths are extreme examples of the violence regularly faced by Filipino women under Canada’s LCP. Live-in caregivers commonly face isolation, chronic overwork, unsafe working conditions and various forms of emotional, physical and sexual abuse,” stated Nillas.

The LCP requires domestic workers to live in their employers’ homes for a period of 24 months within 36 months in order to be eligible to apply for permanent resident status. The program also mandates employer-specific work permits under temporary worker status.

“This program silences our women and forces them to withstand long hours of work, unsafe working conditions, unpaid overtime, violence, neglect and exploitation. This latest incident serves to further highlight the violent nature of the racist and anti-woman LCP” Valenzuela added.

“As temporary workers, we must be vigilant against abuses and exploitation and report any violations against our human rights. We must understand that we have rights and that we need to continue our struggle to uphold our fundamental human rights and dignity,” stated Kelly Botengan, a member of SIKLAB Ontario.

The groups are calling for the scrapping of the LCP and for the Philippine government, under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, to stop its neglect of Filipino overseas workers and to end the country’s labour export policy.

Links

Economic sectors

Occupations in services - Domestic work

Content types

Documented cases of abuse

Target groups

(Im)migrants workers and Public awareness

Regulation domains

Right to change employer, Right to choose place of residence, Labour standards, Health and safety at work, Access to permanent status, and Right to dignity

Geographical focuses

Ontario and Philippines

Languages

English