Rhodora Abano

Advocacy Officer at the Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA)

Active in Country: Philippines

DTP Trainer and Alumna: 2008 Migrant Workers Program - Philippines and 2004 Migrant Workers Program - Indonesia as a participant













Rhodora Abano is an Advocacy Officer at the Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA) in the Phillipines. Although the Phillipines ratified CMW in 1995 Rhodora says the government must continue to be lobbied to bridge the gap between its stated commitment to the Convention and the lived reality of Filipino migrant workers who continue to face violations of their rights. According to the CMA “the Philippine economy is kept afloat by the remittances of Overseas Filipino Workers . Close to ten per cent of the Philippine economy is reliant on the money sent home by OFWs , making it the single most important input of the Philippine economy.”

As part of her work with the CMA Rhodora has utilised the UN System to place pressure on the Phillipines government to comply with their international legal obligations in principle and in practice. Rhodora and CMA along with an alliance of NGOs which CMA convened, have utilised the UN treaty body alternative reporting mechanism to shine a light on the voices of migrant workers which the government may neglect to disclose in its reporting to the CMW committee. Critically, this alliance led by CMA has reported two times to the UN already, in 2010 and 2014, enabling them to sustain pressure on the government and reassuring migrant workers that their cause will not be forgotten. CMA communicates the impact of this report and the situation of migrant workers at all levels of society and government. CMA, led by Rhodora’s colleague and fellow DTP alumni Director Ellene Saana has taken the findings in the report to Geneva to highlight the issue in UN forums. In addition, CMA has not forgotten the importance of translating this high level work to migrant workers and the organisations that support them on the ground in the Phillipines. CMA has held a number of public forums with migrant workers with the purpose of educating them about the UN Committee’s responses to the Philippine governments reporting on their obligations as well the recommendations they have made in terms of actions the government is expected to take to advance their rights.

Although Rhodora says there is still a gap between the government’s statements of compliance with their obligations under CMW and the cases her organisation hears about daily it is clear that organisations such as CMA are progressively advancing the level of protection for Filipino migrant workers by utilising all of the mechanisms available at the domestic and international level to place pressure on and engage their government in the issues faced by migrant workers.


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