OFW rights violation 'on the rise' in UAE

File photo
File photo

ASIDE from Kuwait, labor rights violations are also on the rise in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), according to an organization of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

In a statement, Migrante-Middle East is sounding the alarm over the increasing number of labor rights violations in the UAE, particularly among cleaning service workers.

"Migrante Middle East is disturbed by the rising cases of contract substitutions and labor rights violations experienced by OFW workers in the UAE, particularly in the cleaning services sector," said Migrante.

"We call upon the Philippine government and its local representatives to take a hard look at the plight of our OFWs in the cleaning sector and take immediate action against the ​​unscrupulous agencies involved," it added.

Citing reports it has been receiving, a large number of distressed Filipino cleaners, hired through the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), had their labor rights and overall welfare violated by their employers.

Migrante related that upon arrival in the host country, they found out that their signed master contracts have been substituted and/or revised without their consent.

They added that the cleaners suffered multiple labor malpractices, such as extended working hours without overtime pay and proper rest, unjust salary deductions and other unlawful company policies.

Migrante also noted how the cleaners had endured verbal and mental abuse as well as sexual harassment incidents.

"These conditions had adverse effects on the employees, both physically and mentally. Sadly, some have even resulted in death," said the group.

"It is dismaying to know this is happening despite the numerous, cumbersome requirements most OFWs have to go through and abide by which, the state claims, are supposed to protect Filipino migrant workers," Migrante added.

There are around 650,000 OFWs based in the whole of UAE.

In February, the Department of Migrant Workers temporarily suspended the deployment of newly hired household service workers to Kuwait on the heels of the death of OFW Jullebee Ranara. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)


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