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  • » 08/23/2005, 00.00


    Filipino domestics in the United Arab Emirates: slavery and violence

    The charges are made by a group of emigrant workers in the United Arab Emirates. The group is calling on Manila to file a formal protest and to review diplomatic links with Dubai.

    Dubai (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A group of Filipino emigrant workers has asked Manila to file a formal protest and to review diplomatic links with the government of the United Arab Emirates because of widespread abuses suffered by Filipino personnel at the hands of their Arab employers.

    More than 60 Filipino domestics have already asked for asylum in the Embassy of the Philippines in Dubai. At the moment they are living in makeshift shelters to avoid sexual molestation and beatings from their employers and to try to get wages due to them. The Filipino women came to Dubai – which is in full economic swing – to work as domestics for around 160 US dollars a month. In past weeks, the number of those escaping has increased to around five per day.

    "The Philippine government should immediately lodge a diplomatic protest and review our relations with the United Arab Emirates in view of new reports of abused Filipino workers," the group, called Migrante, said. "The Philippine government must take immediate action to teach host countries that it is not right to condone abusive employers and leave guest workers without a livelihood, without food and without justice." Consular officials said some runaway maids had showed up with bruises or had alleged they had been sexually assaulted.

    This year, the court has condemned three men of the Emirates for rape of Filipino domestics. After many denunciations of abuse, Indonesia has prohibited its women of going to work in the Emirates and Generoso Calonge, Consul-General of the Philippines said his government should do the same. The consul said that out of 200,000 people of Filipino nationality who live in the Emirates, 36,000 are domestics who work for Arabs, for expatriate Europeans and for other Asian families.

    The diplomat said that the consulate is working with the Dubai authorities to repatriate the women who were victims of abuse to the Philippines as quickly as possible.

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    See also

    13/11/2004 MIDDLE EAST
    The difficult situation of domestic helpers in the Gulf
    They are mostly Asian and Christian, abused, victims of violence and lacking in legal protection. Now their plight is on governments' agenda.

    Heaven for money, hell for Asian workers in the United Arab Emirates
    More than 10 million Asians work in the Emirates in quasi-slave conditions. They make an average 200 dollars per month and can visit home once every two years. Trade unions and protests are banned.

    Dubai skyscrapers: monument to workers' exploitation

    Human Rights Watch has drawn attention to abuse of migrant workers' rights in the Arab Emirates. In September a new law declared deportation for those who go on strike.

    UAE government releases workers’ rights booklet
    Titled ‘The Worker: Rights and Duties’, the booklet is available in six languages. This is first time that the UAE recognises rights for foreign workers, at least if they are legal residents of the country.

    11/07/2006 ARAB EMIRATES
    Emirates anti-slavery law throws camel races into crisis

    In this sport, a favourite among Bedouins, children, often kidnapped or sold by poor families, are forced to be jockeys in the races.

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