Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts

Volume 3,  Number 10               April 6 - 12, 2003            Quezon City, Philippines


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Migrant watch

Filipino Women in Canada Denounce Auction of Filipino Domestic Workers

Filipino domestics at $800 each. This is how an ad in a Canadian online publication valued Filipino women domestic helpers in the said country.


A national organization of Filipino women in Canada expressed outrage at the “racist on-line auction" of Filipino women domestic workers.

The National Alliance of Philippine Women in Canada (NAPWC) last week denounced the ads placed by Diva International and published in the Montreal Gazette, which valued three Filipino domestics at $800 each, soliciting bids for their services. The organization also called on the Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Minister Denis Coderre to immediately close down the agency that placed the ads.

"We deplore these ads that degrade and peddle Filipino women as mere commodities for sale to Canadians for a minimum bid of $800," says Cecilia Diocson, chairperson of NAPWC. "These ads attack our basic human rights to dignity and equality. They promote hatred and racism."

The organization wrote letters protesting the ads to the Montreal Gazette and CanWest Global.

The group also wrote a protest letter to Minister Coderre, who oversees Canada’s foreign domestic worker immigration program known as the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP).

Filipino women make up over 80% of the entrants to Canada under the LCP. Diocson stated, "The LCP is the root of the problem because this anti-woman and racist policy constructs our women as modern-day slaves in Canadian society. For over 20 years, we have called upon Canada to acknowledge the abuse and exploitation of Filipino domestic workers by scrapping the LCP. It is now time for Minister Coderre to show his commitment to human rights and social justice by shutting down Diva International and other bogus agencies now!"

The group called on other organizations and individuals to write similar protest letters.

"As Canadians we need to speak out against this example of blatant discrimination. In light of Canada’s recent budget allocations for daycare, we also call on Canadians to educate themselves about the LCP. Why does Canada maintain this policy -- which benefits only those who can afford a nanny -- rather than a universal childcare program for all Canadians?" said Diocson. Bulatlat.com

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