Runaway Filipino maids seeking help rise by 20%

Domestic helpers complain of abuse, sexual harassment and delayed salaries.

The number of Filipino domestic helpers who have fled their employers to the Filipino Resource Centre of Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO) in Abu Dhabi has increased by 20 percent, officials said.

“Compared to last year, our wards have increased by 20 percent. We now average between 118 to 125 [wards] a month compared to last year, which was below 100,” Philippine Labour attaché attorney Nasser Munder told the Khaleej Times.

“The majority of those who run away this year have only been with their employers for less than three months,” he said.

Munder told the paper that runaways had fled due to a variety of reasons, including abuse and sexual harassment, delayed salaries, medical reasons and homesickness.

He told the paper that the repatriation process was now taking longer because Filipino officials had to wait for employers to file an absconding case before visas can be cancelled.

He said many workers do not have the money to pay their airfares home and they rely on donations from fellow Filipinos and government officials.

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Posted by: Ahmed

If the claim of the maid is true, and she has evidence of abuse, then go to the police and file a complaint, rather than waiting for the employer to lodge an absconding case. To me it does not make any sense, because if bad employers start getting convicted, then you will see less abuse cases. Or is it bad for potential workers?!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Louie Tedesco

If Filipinos stayed in their home country and voted in a President who would make positive changes, the whole nation would be better off. Leaving your home and working abroad is NOT how you're going to change things at home. Getting enslaved, to spend your few Dirhams (or Riyals, whetever) on rent, schooling and food will NOT chnage things at home. The best and brightest are fleeing your country to work abroad- leaving the uneducated voting masses at the mercy of corrupt politicians. Europe wasn't "built" because most Europeans left their home countires. We built it first -it took a long time and ain't finsihed yet-and then we left for a life in the sun here in Dubai. And it ain't that great here after three months...

Posted by: LGW

Response to "SAD", The Philippine Govt wont stop sending their "people" overseas, as this is their greatest export, and largest income for salarys back to families. It is SAD that the Philippine govt has "pimped" out their own people, at any cost.. and will not back up any issues in the overseas venues. Arroyo has sold out her own nation last year in Qatar, and I cant see it getting any better in the U.A.E.

Posted by: C N UFF

what makes it even more depressing is that this will only be the tip of the iceberg as for every maid who runs away there must be many more who just don't have the courage or opportunity to leave. having to wait for the employer to lodge an absonding case is disgraceful and really adds to the pain that these poor people have to suffer. Respect for human life and dignity should be everyone No 1 priority irrespective of nationality or religion.

Posted by: gamby

I'm sadden by this story. I think the Phil. gov't should stop sending domestic helpers to these countries where this kind of abuses and barbarism exist. They don't know how to treat people, their thinking is still in the old times where slaves are being shackled and tortured.

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