Health Care Access for Migrant Domestic Workers (Philippines)

The Philippines is one of the leading sources of migrant workers in the world. In 2007, the Commission on Filipinos Overseas reported the estimated number at 8 727 520. Last year 146 337 women were newly hired, 30% of them as domestic workers. The top countries if destination were Hong Kong, Italy, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Cyprus, Singapore, Spain and Jordan. While the demand for domestic workers continues, the conditions under which they work and live remain wanting. Most of the destination countries, especially those in the Middle East, do not recognize domestic work in their labour laws. This translates into an absence of protection and recognition of human rights, including access to health services. Migrant workers are exposed to conditions of vulnerability throughout the migration cycle and often endure abuse, exploitation, violence, discrimination, work-related accidents and injuries, mental health problems, and nutrition and dietary deficiencies. They also lack access to reproductive health services, leading to unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, reproductive tract infections, and sexually-transmitted infections (including HIV).

This project will endeavor to describe the state of sexual and reproductive health, as well as the health services available to, migrant Filipinas working as domestics in selected countries in three of the aforementioned countries: Hong Kong, Singapore and Qatar. The goal is to provide the Government of the Philippines, nongovernmental organizations working for migrants and migrants themselves with the knowledge required to pursue better health care in an area of special concern to women.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Monday, May 18, 2009

End Date

Monday, February 28, 2011


18 months

IDRC Officer

Thioune, Ramata Aw

Total funding

CA$ 118,300


Far East Asia, Hong Kong, Philippines, Middle East, Qatar, Singapore, Central Asia, South Asia, Jordan, Cyprus, Italy, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Spain, United Arab Emirates


Governance and Justice

Project Leader

Maria Lourdes S. Marin


Action for Health Initiatives (Achieve), Inc.

Institution Country


Institution Website