Jocelyn Dulnuan: Twice a Victim - Migrante Ontario

(Photo taken from related article in the Toronto Star, October 5, 2007:
TORONTO, October 4, 2007 -- Jocelyn Dulnuan, a Filipina housekeeper of a multi-million dollar mansion in Mississauga , was murdered on Tuesday October 1, 2007.

Her sister in law Regina Kinnud said that "the police came to our door andstarted asking questions about Jocelyn. When we asked why, they said that she was dead". Shocked by thenews, Regina said that Jocelyn was "quiet andhappy person".

Jocelyn came to Canada under the Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP), a federal government program that allows Filipinas to come as nannies, housekeepersand caregivers. In this program, she was required to live in her employer's residence.

"That is the inherent problem in the LCP program" said Sol Pajadura, coordinator of Migrante-Ontario, an advocacy group that supports caregivers and other migrant Filipinos in Ontario . "Under these conditions, live-in caregivers are vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and to something like what happened to Jocelyn," she added.

Regina and the agency that found Jocelyn the current job went to the Philippine consulate to ask for help. A consular official said that they do not have the money and resources to repatriate Jocelyn's remains. Besides, the official also said they could not help bring home Dulnuan's remains because she was an unregistered worker.

"We cannot really expect much from them. Jocelyn was also directly hired by an employer and did not go though an agency, so there is no agency that can help repatriate her remains either. But the Philippine consulate, no matter what, should be looking after its own nationals, especially those that it boasts of as "modern-day heroes," said Ms. Pajadura.

This same view was expressed by an Ifugao email sender who said "Her citizenship and the circumstances (behind) her death, not her status, should be considered by the Philippine Consulate."

Jocelyn came from an indigenous farming community in Ifugao province north of Manila . She went to Hong Kong with her mother to work as a domestic worker. After working there for a year she came to Canada hoping to be able to work and sponsor her husband and 4 year-old daughter to join her. That will never happen anymore.

"It's really sad to hear what happened to Jocelyn. Like me and many others she left the Philippines to get a better job," said Michelle Gose, a member of migrant organization Siklab. "Not only did she suffer a violent death, she was also a casualty of our government's program that pushes us out of the country to work and be separated from our families," Michelle added.

Along with Ms. Pajadura, Michelle and other migrant workers' groups and concerned community organizations have started collecting all the information that they can get to provide news to Jocelyn's mother in Hong Kong and to ensure that body will be brought back to their hometown.

Spearheaded by Migrante-Ontario, a Jocelyn Dulnuan Support Committee will be formed to provide assistance to the repatriation of the Jocelyn's remains and to support the family. Some people in the committee are also looking into the possibility of opening up a trust fund on her behalf.

FOR REFERENCE: Maria Sol Pajadura. Cell: 647-448-7030.
Email: siklab_ontario@yahoo.ca

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