Here’s a good news to all aspiring Filipinos who wanted to go to Norway as an aupair, the Philippines government now allows its citizen to travel to Norway and Switzerland as aupair which means that no need to bribe immigration officials upon departure. I already posted this in the Facebook page but now I will re post this news article from the Philippines Embassy in Norway.
After extensive discussions and negotiations with the government of Norway and various agencies in the Philippines, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Labor and Employment have announced the lifting of the ban on the deployment of au pairs bound for Norway. The order will take effect immediately. Norway is the only other country in Europe (the other is Switzerland) where the ban has been lifted.
Both agencies expressed satisfaction that the conditions prevailing in Norway warrant sufficient safety nets to promote and protect the rights and welfare of the au pairs in this country. The Norwegian government has also exercised flexibility and accommodation of the Philippine government’s requirements to provide safety nets to provide health insurance for au pairs as well as cover their repatriation in case of death or when they are no longer able to fulfil their contracts due to terminal illness and other similar reasons. According to the Norwegian authorities, the au pair contract has already been amended to reflect such provisions and will be effective in June 2010.
The POEA will be announcing the appropriate guidelines in implementing the order. Au pair contracts will now have to be submitted to the Philippine Embassy in Oslo for authentication. The contract will then have to be submitted to the Philippine Overseas Employment Authority (POEA) to obtain the necessary permit and for the applicants to undergo pre-departure orientation seminars to prepare them for their new life in Norway. The au pair will, of course, have to obtain the requisite visa from the Norwegian Embassy in Manila, The contract, the passport with the requisite visa and the POEA permit will be presented to the Bureau of Immigration upon departure.
The Embassy and the POEA have also developed a DVD to be used in the pre-departure orientation of future au pairs to acquaint them with their new life in Norway.
The Philippine Embassy reiterates its warning to au pairs not to give any amount to any party or middlemen to facilitate their departure. Any attempt to obtain money from au pairs, outside the official fees duly acknowledged with official receipts, should be reported immediately to the Philippine Embassy or the Department of Labor and Employment for appropriate action.
The Embassy is also in the final stages of negotiations with Denmark so that the ban could also be lifted on au pairs bound for this country. The Minister of Refugee, Immigration and Integration Affairs, Birthe Røhn Hornbech has indicated her positive response to the proposals of the Philippine Embassy on the matter.
With the lifting of the ban , the two countries have now aligned their otherwise divergent policies on the matter, and should, hopefully reduce or eliminate the factors leading to the exploitation of the system. Au pairs will now be given an opportunity to learn about Norway and in turn be able to help their host families.
This lifting ban doesn’t mean that the aupair problems will stop but will surely will increase but reading the Guidelines or a memorandum of Agreement between the two countries at least the aupairs will have the security in case they become sick or die during their au pair stay then they host family will shoulder their repatriation. (Will discuss it further next post)
The aspiring Filipino aupairs should always be reminded that the AUPAIR is not a DOMESTIC HELPER, know their aupair rights and of course speak up if you think you are being abused and don’t pay anything to middle men/illegal agents/agencies.