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PH lifts ban on au pairs bound for Europe

The ban on au pairs bound for Europe has been lifted, says the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). The ban was implemented in 1998 due to cases of abuse of the system, but was lifted in 2010 for Switzerland, Norway and Denmark. Since then, there have gradually been improvements to the system:

  • The DFA will act as the lead agency in formulating policies on the au pair scheme.
  • A Technical Working Group (TWG) has been set up in the Philippines composed of the DFA, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Department of Education (DepEd), the Bureau of Immigration (BI), the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), and the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO).
  • New guidelines have been developed to facilitate the departure of au pairs, and to provide them safety nets and protection.
  • A strict monitoring system will be put in place in Philippine foreign posts in Europe for the protection of Filipino au pairs.
  • Departing au pairs need only to submit the following to the BI at the port of departure: a contract of engagement duly authenticated by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate General in the area of destination, valid passport with au pair visa, and a CFO certificate/sticker.
  • Au pairs need not go through the DOLE or POEA procedures anymore, as they are not considered overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).  (Note that in Denmark, the statistics on au pair arrivals are shown in the same category as foreign students, and not in the category of foreign workers/expatriates.)

Babaylan DK is working to ensure that Filipino au pairs are truly immersed in a program of cultural and language learning during their two-year stay in Denmark, even as they share in the responsibilities of other members of the family (i.e., child care and light household chores).  Babaylan DK is working to break the stereotype that au pairs are cheap labor who come into the country to be domestic helpers or baby sitters.  The word ‘au pair’ means ‘at par’ or ‘på lige vikar’, meaning that their status is the same as other members of the family.

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Posted in Au Pair, Au Pair News, OFW, Philippine Updates.