Migrante International was founded in December 1996 after the death of Filipina domestic helper Flor Contemplacion who was hanged in Singapore for allegedly murdering another Filipina domestic worker in 1995.
The Flor Contemplacion case aroused wide indignation over the Philippine government’s inaction and failure to save her life and brought to national awareness the life and death situation of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Since then, Migrante International has become an active defender of the rights and welfare of OFWs by raising public awareness on their plight and providing a critical analysis of the Philippine government’s labor export policy program as the main factor responsible for the commodification of Filipino workers.
Migrante International has handled and assisted thousands of welfare and rights cases, including the landmark and record-breaking case of Angelo dela Cruz who was kidnapped and held hostage in war-torn Iraq in 2004. Migrante International’s quick public information work was able to mobilize thousands of Filipinos into pressuring the government into action. The resounding support for dela Cruz’ case, both locally and internationally, caused the government to pull out Filipino troops in Iraq and dela Cruz was eventually rescued from captivity.
Many other battles followed: cases of stranded, detained and mysterious deaths, rape and sex-trafficking, wage cuts and maltreatment, anti-migrant policies and laws, evacuation in times of war, the plunder and corruption of OFW funds, and the continuing clamor for genuine public service and good governance for OFWs. Through them all, Migrante International has remained steadfast and has earned the trust and respect of OFW families and fellow advocates worldwide.
After more than a decade since its establishment, Migrante International continues its consistent and unwavering record of service to OFWs. It now has over 200 member-organizations in over 23 countries, making it the biggest organization of overseas Filipinos all over the world.
WE WORK TO
– Promote migrants’ rights and dignity against all forms of discrimination, exploitation and abuse in the work place and in the community and resist all anti-migrant policies
– Assert the right to organize
– Strengthen unity among OFWs and rally their families and advocates towards the upholding of migrants’ rights for jobs, fair wages and due recognition
– Push for the building of a self-reliant economy to stop forced migration, promote social equity and justice and unite with other sectors of society for the advancement of national development and democracy
– Build solidarity with migrant organizations of other nationalities and peoples who are against the plunder of economies, destruction of the environment and wars of aggression that cause widespread poverty and injustice
OUR CORE PROGRAMS
RIGHTS AND WELFARE
We receive complaints of OFWs in distress and their families and seek redress for their grievances. With the help and assistance of our most capable volunteers, most of them former OFW victims, members of OFW families and advocates, we strive to push for immediate and apprpriate legal and welfare action from concerned government agencies. We also provide temporary shelter for women OFW victims, counselling services and free legal advice.
CAMPAIGNS AND ADVOCACY
We bring to public attention through fora, multi-media and other venues the plight of OFWs with the aim to get broad support and effect simple yet substantive pro-migrant public awareness.
EDUCATION AND RESEARCH
We conduct research, case studies, fact finding missions and documentation for the regular update of our data base. We also provdie training modules and other publications. Every quarter, we launch Paaralang Migrante (Migrants’ School) for OFW victims, would-be oFWs, their families and advocates.
NETWORKING AND LOBBYING
We continue to build a broad network of advocates and volunteers with the goal to promote strong support for OFWs. We also conduct dialogues and seek audience with concerned government agencies on a interregular basis.
We uphold and work for a harmonious working cooperation between and among migrant associations around the world. Migrante Inteernational is a founding and active member of the International Migrants’ Alliance (IMA)
The CONGRESS is held every three years and is the highest policy-making body.
The GLOBAL COUNCIL is nominated and elected during the Congress. It currently has seven members selected from global regions — Asia Pacific, Europe, Canada, United States and the Middle East — where there is a large concentration of OFWs and Migrante local chapters.
The EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE is composed of the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary-General, Deputy Secretary-General and Finance Officer. The Executive Committee is elected ans selected in the Congress.
The SECRETARIAT is composed of heads of the committees that ensure the implementation of Migrante International’s core programs.