Undocumented workers in Saudi rise to 8,000

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Sunday, April 8, 2012


WHILE already having the most number of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) also has a high number of undocumented OFWs.

An organization of OFWs said there may already be about 8,000 OFWs in KSA without official documents.

“The number of undocumented OFWs in Saudi Arabia is swelling, reaching to an estimated number ranging from 6,000 to 8,000,” said Migrante-Middle East coordinator John Leonard Monterona in a statement.

He said the figure is from the KSA alone and does not include other Middle East countries, where there could be thousands more.

The OFW leader said the undocumented workers were comprised of those who were left with no choice but to run away from their employers after suffering from labor abuses and maltreatment.

Aside from those who were deployed illegally from the Philippines, OFWs, he said, are being subjected to non-payment of salaries, working more than eight-hours, no day off, and no overtime pay, among others.

Despite this, Monterona lamented that the Aquino administration has not been doing any action to address the situation.

“Despite the surge in the numbers of undocumented OFWs, there is no government program for their legalization, providing them security and eventual repatriation undertaken by the present Aquino administration,” said Monterona.

Records show that there is an estimated 1.2 million OFWs currently working in the KSA. (HDT/Sunnex)

Local news

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