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Philippines

An estimated 10 million Filipinos live abroad and more than 1 million are reported to be leaving the country annually to work overseas. The Philippines considers labour migration as a national propeller for its economic growth. However, the reality for many Filipino migrant workers is that they fall prey to unjust and illegal recruitment practices, human trafficking and forced labour.

The protection of the rights of migrant workers and their families as well as  women and children at risk are at the core of AWO International’s work in the Philippines. Building resilient communities in areas particularly exposed to climate change and natural adversities and assisting those affected by disaster is another important part of our work.  

Eine Frau steht vor einem Feld und lächelt in die Kamera.
Southeast AsiaPhilippines

Disaster risk reduction in the Philippines

The geographical location of the Philippines makes the country vulnerable to natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons, volcanic eruptions and floods. In addition, climate change increases the frequency and intensity of natural disasters. Proactive preparedness allows people to better prepare for these climate-related risks and minimises the impact on the country's life and infrastructure. In cooperation with the local partner organisation CONCERN, we promote disaster risk reduction in the Philippines.

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A woman stands in front of a banner with the words "Livelihood Training".
Southeast AsiaPhilippines

Combating human trafficking in the Philippines

The COVID-19 pandemic and its lingering effects increase the risk of Filipino domestic workers becoming victims of trafficking and other forms of exploitation. In 2021, AWO International and the Philippine NGO Ople Center formed a partnership to respond to these new challenges for Filipino migrant workers.

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A smiling woman stands in front of a wooden machine that processes the abaca fiber.
Southeast AsiaPhilippines

Philippine farmers switch to green production

Together with the local partner organisation ECOWEB, AWO International supports smallholder households and strengthens the local capacities of the agricultural industry in Sibagat. Filipino farmers are introduced to the use of natural materials and practices that are climate-friendly and sustainable in order to protect the environment, improve their livelihoods and reduce poverty. In this way, local capacities can be strengthened and the impacts of extreme weather events and climate change can be better managed.

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A woman is giving a presentation. She is holding a microphone and standing in front of a flipchart.
Southeast AsiaPhilippinesIndonesiaMalaysia

Promoting the rights of migrant workers in Southeast Asia

Labour migration in Southeast Asia is a phenomenon that has existed for centuries. Despite the economic benefits for countries of origin and destination, the situation of migrants and their access to social services is often precarious. Since 2021, AWO International, together with its local partner organisation Migrant Forum Asia (MFA), has been campaigning for the rights of migrant workers in Southeast Asia.

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Southeast AsiaPhilippines

Immediate response to the suffering caused by Typhoon Rai in communities in Southern Leyte

Typhoon Rai (locally known as Odette) hit the Philippines just before Christmas 2021, when the season of storms was supposed to end. This most violent of all typhoons in 2021 caused widespread destruction and suffering, affecting more than 11 Million people in its wake.

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E Participants in a stakeholder dialogue discuss strategies for safe labour migration. MMCEAI brought together 52 representatives from local government agencies and community organizations (Photo: AWO International)
Southeast AsiaPhilippines

Protecting migrant workers from exploitation and abuse

Every day, many women from the island of Mindanao leave their families to migrate abroad for work. A large percentage end up being exploited and abused. Together with our partner organization, MMCEAI, we aim to facilitate for a safer migration process for all stakeholders involved.

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In trainings and workshops children and young people learn about their rights and how they can fight for them. (Photo: AWO International)
Southeast AsiaPhilippines

Halting child trafficking and sexual exploitation

Time and again, children and women on the Philippine island of Mindanao become victims of human trafficking for sexual exploitation. In addition, cases of sexual abuse on the Internet are becoming more frequent. Together with our partner organization Child Alert Mindanao, we implemented protective measures and education programmes to strengthen the awareness on and protection of the rights of children and women.

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The boat, with which Norbhen Costańo goes out, is rented. One day's catch is barely enough to feed his family. (Photo: Mark Henry/AWO International)
Southeast AsiaPhilippines

Plastic waste instead of fish, exploitation instead of income

The coastal communities of the Philippine province of Sarangani depend heavily on fishing. But commercial fishing fleets empty fish stocks and fishermen lose their livelihoods. If they are hired for industrial fishing, they often fall victim to exploitation and human trafficking.

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A group therapy by our partner organisation Talikala for girls who have been victims of sexual abuse. (Photo: AWO International)
Southeast AsiaPhilippines

Fight against sexual exploitation of girls and women in Davao

Poverty and unemployment are the main causes that push many girls and women in Davao to become prostitutes and victims of human trafficking. Many girls are only 14 years old. Together with our partner organization – Talikala, we work to protect women and girls from sexual exploitation.

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The CMA team at a case conference. (Photo: AWO International)
Southeast AsiaPhilippines

Strengthening the rights of domestic workers in migration

About 10 percent of the Philippine population live and work abroad as migrants. This is mainly due to poverty and a lack of income opportunities in the country. Many women work as domestic helpers, where they are often exposed to abuse and exploitation. Together with our partner organization Center for Migrant Advocacy, we work to protect migrant domestic workers and their rights.

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AWO International provides emergency aid for people who have lost their homes and livelihoods as a result of the two typhoons Goni and Vamco (Photo: AWO International/CONCERN)
Southeast AsiaPhilippines

Emergency aid for people affected by two severe typhoons in Malilipot

Super typhoon Goni (Rolly) and his smaller brother Vamco (Ulysses) devastated the homes and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people within two weeks, plunging them into a desperate situation in the midst of an unmanageable pandemic. Together with our partner organisation CONCERN, we are helping particularly hard-hit families.

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