Migrante Ottawa is a cause-oriented organization that promotes the rights and welfare of Filipino migrants in Canada and supports the struggles of the Filipino people to address political, social and economic conditions that lead to forced migration. It is now estimated that over 6,000 Filipinos leave the Philippines everyday to find jobs overseas so their families can survive. The majority of those who leave are women, leaving their own families behind.
Migrants face many difficulties when they go abroad: low wages that are barely enough to cover remittances that they send to their families back home; difficult working conditions and unpaid and/or invisible overtime; loneliness and emotional suffering from prolonged family separation that in many instances lead to family breakdowns.
Forced migration has intergenerational effects. Many migrant youth and children find themselves culturally displaced and also bear the economic hardship their parents face. Often migrants hold multiple, low-wage jobs just to survive, and spend less time with their families.
While Migrante-Ottawa advocates for the rights and welfare of migrants in Canada, its ultimate goal is to stop the labour export policy in the Philippines that has been in place since the 1970s. Instead of facilitating the export of migrant labour, it calls on the Philippine government to implement fundamental changes that would enable the Philippines to build its own national industries, redistribute land from a handful of wealthy families to landless peasants, and uphold democracy by respecting the political, social and economic rights of the Filipino people.
Migrante Ottawa was established in 2000. It is a non-profit volunteer-based organization that is part of Migrante Canada, which is a national alliance of migrant advocacy organizations that share its goals. Migrante Canada is affiliated with Migrante International, which was established as a global movement in 1995. Its formation was a culmination of the global outcry in response to the execution of a migrant worker, Flor Contemplacion, which highlighted the extreme vulnerability of migrants abroad.
For more information, please see background fact sheets on our website.