Sunday July 22, 2018

Gabriela pushes probe on maid abuse in Kuwait

GABRIELA Party-list representatives on Thursday, April 26, filed a resolution urging a House panel to probe the numerous cases of abuse committed against household workers in the Middle East.

In the resolution, Gabriela Party-list representatives Emmi de Jesus and Arlene Brosas said that 53 percent of the 15 million Filipinos working abroad are women.

They said 57.9 percent of the total number of overseas workers are deployed in the Middle East.

"Whereas, for the first 11 months of 2017, contributions from migrant Filipinas reached $10.12 billion or 40 percent of the total $25.3 billion OFW remittances," the resolution read.

"Whereas, despite their huge contribution to the economy, OFWs are still suffering abuses n their host countries especially among household service workers," it added.

Gabriela also said that the Department of Foreign Affairs has recorded at least 6,000 cases of maltreatment of OFWs in 2017 alone.

In February, President Rodrigo Duterte called on the OFWs in Kuwait to return home after the discovery of a body, belonging to domestic helper Joanna Demafelis, stuffed in a freezer in an abandoned house.

The series of abuses committed against OFWs prompted the President to ban the deployment of OFWs to Kuwait and led to a diplomatic conflict between the Philippines and Kuwait.

Kuwait has declared Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa "unacceptable" and given him seven days to leave the country. (SunStar Philippines)