Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Asian domestics the world's most badly treated
New ILO report paints grim picture
- ucanews.com reporter, Manila
- January 10, 2013
Domestic workers in Asia receive among the worst treatment globally, according to a new report released yesterday by the International Labor Organization.
Of the 21.5 million domestic workers in the Asia-Pacific, only three percent are entitled to a weekly day of rest against around half of all the butlers, maids and gardeners employed worldwide, according to the ILO report.
Similarly, just one percent of domestic workers in the region have statutory limits to their standard maximum weekly working hours versus three-quarters of counterparts in Latin America.
Asia scored particularly badly on maternity leave, a key indicator of rights given that women make up 80 percent of all domestic workers worldwide.
Only 12 percent in the region enjoy such benefits, the report said, while in Latin America every woman qualifies for maternity leave.
Yoshiteru Uramoto, ILO regional director for the Asia-Pacific, noted that the Philippines was one of just three countries – also including Uruguay and Mauritius – to have ratified a new domestic workers convention that sets a framework for legislation governing conditions. Other countries in the region are close to doing so, he added.
“It’s very encouraging that some Asian countries, such as Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore, are moving in the right direction with labor reforms,” said Uramoto. “But this report makes it clear that more action is needed by more countries.”
In Asia, India has the most domestic workers at 4.2 million, followed by Indonesia with 2.4 million and the Philippines with 1.9 million. One in 13 women in this region are employed as domestic workers.