Publication Date

1999

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to explore how pre-departure orientation seminars (PDOS) in the Philippines can be improved to better meet the needs of female overseas workers and empower them to protect themselves from violations of their rights as women and as migrant workers. The subsequent recommendations are based on data collected during a week-long study tour of the labor migration regulation and facilitation processes in the Philippines, a focus group discussion with experienced female Filipino overseas workers and a series of individual interviews with experienced female overseas workers, PDOS trainers, service providers (individuals assisting workers at home and abroad) and academics interested in labor migration of women. Published works on Philippine labor migration in general, training for labor migrants and experiential training theory were also consulted. Six main recommendations are made concerning the modification of PDOS programs' content and methodology, two components of training which greatly influence the training's effectiveness. In addition, serious constraints to PDOS are identified which inhibit modifications to content and methodology and significantly reduce the overall effectiveness of the program. These constraints are briefly discussed and topics for future research are suggested. This study is relevant to any organization interested in establishing or improving pre-departure orientation programs for female migrant workers. It is also relevant to any individual or government wishing to know more about the realities facing female migrant workers abroad and possible approaches to preparing women for these realities.

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