The government of the Philippines recently gave in to international and local pressure and agreed to allow a high-level International Labor Organization-led mission to the country.


The PSAC has been among the numerous Canadian and international unions to put pressure on the Philippine government to address the alarming rate of human rights violations and to accept the ILO mission.  The PSAC Social Justice Fund  also sent two delegates to a labour mission in the Southern Tagalog region of the Philippines in November 2008.


The high-level mission was requested by the ILO to the Philippine government back in June 2007, after the international labour body reviewed a complaint filed by the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) in 2006.  The KMU is a militant labour centre in the Philippines whose members comprise an inordinate proportion among the victims of extra-judicial killings and human rights violations.  After two years of silence, the government finally relented and recently agreed to the high-level ILO mission.  The mission’s main goal would be to get a better understanding of all aspects of the cases of labour repression in the Philippines.


The Philippine government and its military and police have been the targets of serious allegations of human rights abuses against activists, including unions and labour activists.  To date, about 1,000 activists have been extra-judicially killed, while hundreds more have been harassed, arrested, abducted and/or tortured.  Among the victims are hundreds of workers and labour activists, making the Philippines the second most dangerous country in the world to unionize, next to Colombia.

Related links:

Philippines still Asia's most dangerous country  for workers also no. 3 in the world, Bulatlat .com

ILO investigation into labour crimes in Philippines gives hope to trade-union activists