Domestic workers

Minimum age for Filipino domestic workers overseas, including those in UAE, raised to 24

Jean Rio Bautista

Bautista said: “The increase in the required age is in line with the expanded anti-trafficking law and the notice issued by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. [POEA] in compliance with the law. »

The POEA is the government agency responsible for supervising and regulating commercial recruitment firms in the Philippines and is also responsible for protecting the rights and welfare of overseas Filipino workers.

Nancy Tiburcio, 39, who has worked as a nanny in Dubai for nearly a decade, welcomed the move. “Young domestic workers are more vulnerable to abuse. But in addition to raising the age requirement, I hope to see stricter monitoring and stricter enforcement of the laws that protect us. [domestic workers]. The memorandum is clear on the minimum age required, but there is no stipulation on what will happen to employers who hire underage domestic workers.

Migration expert Froilan Malit, Jr., PhD candidate in politics at the University of Glasgow and Managing Director of Rights Corridor, said: “Raising the minimum age of deployment for migrant domestic workers from 23 to 24 is a progressive but proactive step in the global fight against the transnational trafficking of migrant domestic workers.

Froilan Malit, Jr.

The rights and welfare of Filipino domestic workers are protected by the Memorandum of Understanding on Labor Cooperation with the Domestic Workers Annex Protocol signed between the UAE and the Philippines in 2021.

1. The right of the domestic worker to take at least eight continuous hours of sleep each night;

2. The right of the domestic worker to take a paid break, away from the employer’s home, at least one full day per week;

3. The domestic worker’s right to keep their passport or identity documents and the employer is not allowed to hold them;

4. The employer authorizes the domestic worker to possess and use mobile telephones and other communication devices and is prohibited from confiscating them;

5. Opening of a bank account in the name of the domestic worker for the payment of wages; and

6. Allow domestic workers to cook their own food.