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Philippines and Hong Kong Travel Study Seminar

February 3-17, 2023

Root Causes and Current Challenges of Forced Migration and Labor Trafficking


Since 1974, the Philippine government systematized its labor export program, in response to increasing unemployment and underemployment and social unrest. Several tribes of indigenous peoples of the Philippines struggle to protect their ancestral domains which yield a variety of natural resources. The militarized conflict over these lands, reflect the ambition to extract at all costs, without consideration for the survival and livelihood of these peoples and leads many to overseas employment. Philippines is the third largest country in the world to receive remittances. Almost 7000 workers per day, leave the Philippines to work in land-based and sea-based jobs. The labor force of Hong Kong domestic workers consists mostly of Indonesian and Filipina women. Accompanied by the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) through their ecumenical, regional and international partner organizations, these migrant workers organize, mobilize and receive pastoral care and support, amid these historical and current challenges.

This seminar will introduce the historical context and contemporary challenges of the labor export program of the Philippines. Half of the seminar will be in the Philippines, and the other half will happen in Hong Kong where families hire mostly Filipina and Indonesian domestic workers. Through community visits, we will learn about the conditions that contribute to overseas employment. We will meet leaders of migrant-serving organizations that support and mobilize migrant workers. We will hear the testimonies of migrant workers and their families. Special attention of this seminar will focus on how faith-based communities are assisting migrant workers in their struggles for justice and human rights.

Anticipated Outcomes

Participants will:

  • Understand the role of the church in the context of forced migration and the struggle of migrants for human rights, justice and decent lives
  • Share reflections following the seminar to strengthen partnerships between PCUSA, UCCP and other migrants-serving organizations
  • Create a communique/statement to share with the PCUSA and other potential partners
  • Stay open to new insights, initiatives and outcomes

View Sample Schedule


Accommodations are double-occupancy. Some single-occupancy rooms may be available for an additional charge.


The cost of this seminar is $2,500. Cost is per person double occupancy including all seminar expenses (meals, accommodations, program, tips, tours, in-country transportation and airline travel from Manila to Hong Kong during the seminar). International airline transport from and returning to the United States at the beginning and end of the seminar is not included.

Application Due Date

Applications will be due by November 5, 2022. After that time, applications will be considered as space is available.

Apply now

For more information

A sample schedule/itinerary and online application form are available on the Peacemaking Program’s Travel Study Seminar webpage or by calling 888-728-7228 x 5805.