Violence forces Philippine labour office in Riyadh to relocate

Philippine Overseas Labour Office in Riyadh says forced to leave the capital’s Diplomatic Quarter due to violence during kingdom’s amnesty on illegal workers

The Philippine Overseas Labour Office in Riyadh (POLO-Riyadh) claims it has been forced to relocated from the capital’s Diplomatic Quarter due to violence during protests over the kingdom’s amnesty for illegal workers.

The Philippine Embassy has not officially given a reason for the office’s move to the West Umul Hamam District but Arab News said a source said it was related to “untoward incidents” during last year’s crackdown on illegal foreign workers.

Saudi Arabia’s amnesty on illegal workers saw about 1 million leave the country between April and November. Following the deadline, authorities carried out mass raids to find remaining illegal residents, most of whom did not have the necessary identification documents to return home.

Possibly thousands were detained in detention centres before being exported and the crackdown led to several protests.

At least three people died during the violence, including an Ethiopian man who was shot by police.

Filipinos make up a significant proportion of the kingdom’s 10 million expatriates and they mostly work in low-paid roles such as cleaners and maids.

Arab News said an incident broke out at the POLO-Riyadh office when a group of undocumented Filipinos began a sit-in in protest for a lack of help.

“They were afraid about their illegal status and sought help but nobody would attend to them. Violence followed. They eventually went to the embassy and camped out inside its premises,” a source reportedly said.

Embassy officials called the police when they could not get the workers to leave the building.

There also were several complaints by other residents inside the Diplomatic Quarter about the violence, he said.

Related:
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on arabianbusiness.com may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Trump's Saudi embrace, Iran disdain upend Obama's vision

Trump's Saudi embrace, Iran disdain upend Obama's vision

Analysts say Trump's actions mark a stark departure from the...

WEF has a plan, but it is up to the Middle East to make it happen

WEF has a plan, but it is up to the Middle East to make it happen

Organisation knows what the GCC has to do to meet the challenges...

Saudi shake-up strengthens king's powerful son

Saudi shake-up strengthens king's powerful son

Royal decrees saw a number of allies of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed...

1
Most Discussed
sponsoredTracking