Filipinos call for ban on helpers in Kuwait amid abuse

Petition of 10,000 signatures to be presented to Filipino government

Filipinos in Kuwait have collected 10,000 signatures supporting a call for the Philippines government to ban more of its citizens taking up domestic work in the Gulf state following a spate of alleged abuse and rapes.

The petition was handed to Consul General Raul Dado at the Philippines Embassy in Kuwait City on Tuesday.

Dado said he would include the petition along with comments from Filipino employers and recruitment agencies in Kuwait in a presentation to the Filipino government.

“The people have spoken and they actually attached their signatures to stress their points here,” Dado said.

“It’s up to the central government to [decide] on various options. We’ll see how we can get a viable solution to the call for a moratorium.

“The signatures gathered will be one of our basis for our position papers that will be submitted along with others to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs [Albert del Rosario]. Along with this, we will also send some suggestions from recruitment agencies and employers especially those who are employing Filipinas.

“The government will consider all options in deciding [on a] call for a moratorium including the economical and humanitarian aspects and even political relations. It’s up to the central government to decide.

“I agree that domestic helpers must be provided with proper protection.”

Treatment of domestic helpers in Kuwait has been an issue for years. The Philippines has previously threatened to ban sending more of its citizens to the wealthy Gulf state, while in 2009 it was reported there was a spate of Filipina maids fleeing their employers amid complaints of mistreatment.

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Posted by: Richard

This is long long overdue! I have never understood the perceived indifference previously shown first by the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait and second by the Philippine Government, to the plight of Filipina maids in Kuwait, but also in a wider context, Philippine nationals generally employed in Kuwait. I have lived here for 20 years and heard of countless cases of Philippine nationals of both sexes being abused physically (the lady fitness instructor most recently reported here), and materially through unscrupulous Kuwaiti employers breaking the terms of signed contracts, delaying salary payments, making illegal deductions from salaries, not paying salaries at all and dismissing staff without cause - and then cases of NO assistance from the Shaoon!

I hope the decision makers in Manila are first awake, second aware and third realize that it is the OFWs who basically now drive the Philippine economy!!! and so deserve proper, continuous and monitored protection when working abroad!

Posted by: RAH

Good for the workers and standing up to something that should be a given: the right for humans to live a decent, abuse-free life.

Hopefully these filipino workers in Kuwait can set the ball rolling where OFWs in the other Gulf states can also stand up and scream ENOUGH of this abuse.

Sad and heart-breaking and I sincerely hope conditions improve for them, and all workers in the Gulf regardless of nationality.

May God bless them for leaving their families behind and living in a foreign country for the sake of employement.

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