Sol Pillas (1958-2016), migrant warrior and leader

sol tributeIt is with great sadness that Migrante International announces the passing of Sol Pillas, friend, comrade and warrior for the promotion and protection of migrants’ rights.

Pillas passed away today, April 21, at 5:30am, seven months after suffering a massive stroke last September 2015. She was 58 years old.

Migrante International extends its most heartfelt condolences to Pillas’ family who have since embraced her activism, friends, colleagues and comrades, and the international community of human rights workers and migrants’ rights advocates that she served and upheld.

At the time of her death, Pillas was the Secretary-General of Migrante International, the largest global alliance of overseas Filipinos and their families.

Pillas was a domestic worker in Hong Kong for 25 years. Her activism started when she became a volunteer counselor and case officer of the Mission for Migrant Workers (MFMW) and the the Bethune House Migrant Women’s Refuge.

In 2004-2006, she was elected Vice Chairperson of the Association of Concerned Filipinos (ACFIL), a founding member of the United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-Migrante-HK). She was also the Vice Chairperson of the Association of Concerned Migrants in Discovery Bay from 2008-2013.

She was a long-time officer of UNIFIL-Migrante-HK, the foremost militant alliance of OFWs in Hong Kong, having served as its Vice Chairperson from 2004-2013.

In 2014, Pillas decided to go home “for good” to the Philippines. She was elected Secretary General of Migrante International on its 7th Congress last December 2014.

During her short stay in the Philippines, before she suffered a stroke, Pillas led several successful campaigns for overseas Filipino workers’ rights and welfare, among them, the #HandsOffOurBalikbayanBox, #StopTanimBala and #SaveMaryJane.

Arrangements are presently being made for her wake and tribute.

Pillas’ work and courage will serve as inspiration to all Filipino migrant workers and migrants’ rights advocates around the world.

Highest tribute to a great migrant warrior and leader! Long live Sol Pillas! ###

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