Around 100 domestic workers & allies join the interfaith vigil, march and rally from the UN Plaza to the Philippine Consulate

On Monday, September 23, as diplomats and United Nations officials convened in NY for the UN General Assembly, domestic workers and allies organized a march, rally and interfaith vigil to shine a light on the trafficking and slavery of women domestic workers by diplomats and demand legal reforms that would sanction diplomats who engage in such abuse.

Don Tagala from Balitang America reported about the action.  Getty Images also featured a photo of Safe Horizon Intensive Case Manager Jessica Penaranda. More photos will be posted soon. Please also see solidarity statements from some ally organizations below.

Statements of Support

ASPIRE, a pan-Asian undocumented youth organization in San Francisco Bay Area, stands in unity with DAMAYAN Migrant Workers Association in their fight for the protection of immigrant workers. We hold the struggles of migrant workers as our own because these systematic problems parallel our parents' struggles as well. The labor exploitation experienced by our communities is comprehensive in its scope because the labor protections in place are not enforced and upheld, leaving immigrant workers vulnerable to unfair treatment and abuse. ASPIRE stands in solidarity with migrant workers, parents of undocumented youth, in this united effort to hold those in the position of power to take leadership in these issues.

RAISE stands in solidarity with Damayan in the struggle against the trafficking and slavery of women and domestic workers. We endorse the Damayan Interfaith Vigil, March and Rally Against Domestic Slavery as a demonstration against the violence and dehumanization that occurs to women and domestic workers. The trafficking and enslavement of women and children cannot be tolerated and must be exposed in order to bring justice to our communities. RAISE urges the US State Department in NY to hold the diplomat traffickers and home countries’ governments accountable for the systemic oppression and exploitation of women and workers.

We rally around the Points of Unity presented by Damayan and its affiliates for the event:

1) We demand waivers of diplomatic immunity of government officials in cases of labor trafficking and severe exploitation.

2) We demand the suspension of countries of diplomats who have trafficked women workers in the A-3 and G-5 visa program.

3) We demand protection of immigrant workers through a more broad definition of labor trafficking, to more accurately reflect the spectrum of labor exploitation experienced in our communities.

4) We demand the enforcement of labor laws in the homes of diplomat, corporate or consular employers.

5) We demand the creation of a task force at the Philippine Consulate to address trafficking of domestic workers and to provide resources for exploited workers.