Kuwait’s Department of Consular Affairs approved the repatriation of 150 Filipino domestic helpers irrespective whether they are faced with legal cases against their employers or not. Philippine Envoy to Kuwait Ricardo Endaya appealed for closer cooperation with placement agencies” owners that employ Filipino domestic helpers in Kuwait during a general meeting held at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Jabriyah Tuesday afternoon.
Philippine Labor Attachأ) Josephus Jimenez disclosed in an interview that “the program is in line with the project initiated by Labor Secretary of the Philippines Marianito Roque and under the auspices of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.” “The program aims at bringing home to their families distressed Filipino workers who are currently housed at the Filipino Welfare Resources Center. These women are victims of physical, emotional and sexual abuses by employers and victims of alteration of contracts by local and Philippineـbased agencies,” stated Jimenez.
During the meeting held by the Philippine envoy with Kuwait based placement agencies, several related issues surfaced and included such provisions of comprehensive orientation of Kuwait’’s traditions, culture and society’’s structure for Filipinos bound for Kuwait and stringent streamlining of employers applying for the services of domestic helpers. Jimenez added that there are 65,000 Filipino domestic helpers in Kuwait and 150 is a small fraction of the total amount yet for a country such as the Philippines, which values human rights as ”essential.”
Endaya interviewed several domestic helpers in the shelter and asked their respective employers to look after their current statuses and assist in the repatriation program. “We ask you to provide these helpless and vulnerable workers with airline tickets and secure their passports or in cases where employers refuse to return the passports, the embassy will provide travel documents to speed up their repatriation,” concluded the ambassador.