Buses to transport people out of Salloum. Credit: Caritas Switzerland
By Fred Lauener, Caritas Switzerland, reporting from the Egyptian-Libyan border, where Caritas is distributing emergency aid to migrants fleeing the unrests in Libya.
Read the original blog in German
Yesterday, a lot of people had to pack their stuff at the Salloum border camp. Salloum looked like a crowded, badly-organised coach station. Dozens of buses were obstructing the access to the camp. There has been a lot of movement here in the last days. A lot of people could finally leave.
Among them were many of the young men from Chad who were by far the biggest group in the camp. A lot of them had come to Salloum not only because they had lost their jobs but most of all because they were fearing for their lives. Young black Africans are under general suspicion as Gaddafi mercenaries. Continue reading
by Francesca Merico, Caritas Internationalis
Geneva – On 2 December 2010, the United Nations Committee on Migrant Workers (CMW), the body that monitors the implementation of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (ICRMW), adopted its first General Comment, which is focused on the rights of migrant domestic workers.
The General Comment gives guidance on the interpretation and implementation of the ICRMW and states that all the provisions contained in the Convention apply to migrant domestic workers as well.
Caritas Taiwan Director Fr. Peter Mertens, Sr. Emma Lee, and priests who are working for the migrants. Credit: Caritas
By Caritas Taiwan
For the occasion of Women’s Day, Caritas Taiwan participated in the rally organized by Migrant Empowerment Network in Taiwan in front of Executive Yuan on March 5, 2010. The NGOs have been lobbying the concerns of domestic workers and caregivers who are mostly women, to be included in the Labor Standards Law.
In the situation of Taiwan, caregivers who are also considered as domestic workers are working for as much as 12.5 hours a day and they neither received overtime pay nor avail of one day off per week because employers do not allow them. Thus, they are vulnerable to stress and some recourse to running-away from their employers and become irregular or undocumented.
For several years, the NGOs that are serving migrant workers have been lobbying for the revision of the Household Service Act which governs the domestic workers.
The basic needs of the workers should not be denied nor regarded as merely public responsibility. It should be included in the Labor Standards Law to protect the rights of the migrant workers.
According to the statistics of the Bureau of Employment and Vocation Training, Taiwan has a total number of 353,805 migrant workers as of January 2010, with Indonesians as the largest in number followed by Vietnamese, Filipinos and Thai.
For several years now, Justice and Peace and Caritas Taiwan has been serving Filipino, Indonesian, and Thai migrant workers.
By Martina Liebsch, Caritas Internationalis migration advocacy officer
Lucie Detsi wanted to study. She wanted a better life. She left Cameroon for Italy, where she worked for families as a domestic worker. This work wasn’t legally recognised and in some cases not even paid properly. Her rights as a worker and a migrant suffered. She had no way to ensure she was paid properly. She had no protection from possible abuses to her rights.
Lucie was one of the speakers at the Day of General Discussion of the Migrant Workers Committee in Geneva recently. The Committee on the protection of the Rights of all Migrant workers and members of their families is a UN body that seeks to safeguard migrant rights.
An initial document, which outlined the situation of domestic workers in different countries and the problems to be tackled, was followed by the opportunity to share real-life experiences, such as that of Lucie’s and good practices as those presented by Caritas Lebanon. Continue reading
By Maria Suelzu, Caritas Internationalis
Warsaw, 17-19 September 2009
I had attended the Caritas Europa Migration Forum meeting in the past and they were big events with a lot of participants from Europe and other parts of the world. This one was smaller and participants were mainly European because its focus was on labour migration to Europe only.
By Maria Suelzu, Caritas Internationalis Advocacy Officer
On 26 May I went to the presentation of a book titled “Carers and elderly: a welfare service without future” here in Rome organised by the “Fondazione Don Liegro” and the “Provincia di Roma”.
In most western European countries, assistance and services for the elderly are in general provided in different forms by the public sector, while in Italy (as well as in Spain to some extent) the most common situation is for the elderly to become employers of their caretakers. More often than not these caretakers are immigrant workers. Thus both employer and employee come from a very fragile social situation, although for very different reasons.
By Michelle Hough, communications officer with Caritas Internationalis
When I was 5 years old, my dad went to work in Nigeria for a year. He mended big earth moving machines, and there were very few jobs in this line in England in the late 1970s. He could have either stayed in the UK, where he would have been unemployed and unable to support his family, or go to Africa.
In the 1930s my dad’s parents left an impoverished Ireland to find work in London. Twenty years before that, my maternal great grandfather left Ireland to go and work in the Welsh coal mines.
By Martina Liebsch, CI migration advocacy officer
While in Athens for the preparations of the Global Forum on Migration and Development, I took the opportunity to meet up with my colleague Begoña Kalliga, from the Caritas Athens Refugee Programme.
Begoña is a journalist and works as a volunteer in the Centre which is located in Kapodistriou Street in the centre of Athens. The centre runs a soup kitchen for refugees and migrants and provides material assistance in the form of food bags, clothing and bed linen to cover basic needs, language courses in Greek and English, assistance from a social worker and a vaccination programme for the children. Two hundred and fifty meals are served daily five days a week. The centre is always full. Continue reading