Monday, November 4, 2013

Filipino workers ‘abused’ in Saudi Arabia

A group of repatriated Filipino workers arrive at the Manila International Airport

Filipino workers deported from Saudi Arabia say they have been abused and treated ‘like animals’ by Saudi authorities.

Thirty Filipino workers, who returned to Manila on Monday, revealed details of their ordeal during their stay in Saudi Arabia.

“They treated us like animals,” said 46-year-old domestic helper Amor Roxas.

Saudi police rounded up the workers in a crowded cell for four days before they were allowed to return home, Roxas stated.

Yvonne Montefeo, another worker, said, “Our feet were chained.”

According to Migrante International, a support group for overseas Filipino workers, the immigrants were among an estimated 6,700 Filipinos stranded in parts of Saudi Arabia for the lack of documents.

The group warned that the Filipinos “are in danger of being violently dispersed, arrested and detained by Saudi authorities.”

About a tenth of the population of the Philippines live and work abroad, mostly as labourers or maids, and they are prone to abuse and exploitation.

The Filipinos are among tens of thousands of mostly Asian workers likely to be expelled, Migrante International said.

Expatriates account for around nine million of Saudi Arabia’s population of 28 million.

The Saudi government launched a crackdown on illegal workers early this year. Riyadh offered amnesty to allow the workers to legalize their stay.

Thousands of illegal foreigners, mostly from Asia, have begun to leave Saudi Arabia before an amnesty expires on Sunday as they risk being fined or even jailed.

Contributed & Edited:
Chris Rath- Independent Researcher, Orwellian Eye. Australia (1984 was not meant to be an instruction manual)

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