Manila stops Filipino workers from going to Kuwait after autopsy shows domestic worker murdered
Jeanelyn Villavende was raped before her employers beat her to death. Manila condemned her murder, describing it as a "clear violation" of the agreement signed by the two countries in 2018 that ended a diplomatic crisis.
Manila (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Filipino government has imposed a total ban on Filipinos travelling to Kuwait for work, following the death of Jeanelyn Villavende who died in December 2019 in the Gulf state under horrific circumstances as evinced by an autopsy performed for the National Investigation Office (NBI).
The Philippines’ Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced the decision today, after the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) approved a resolution applicable to all workers already slated for employment in Kuwait.
A partial deployment ban on overseas work certificates came in effect after 5 pm on 3 January for first-time household service workers.
Today's ban comes in the wake of the NBI probe, which found that Villavende, 26, was raped before her employers in Kuwait beat her to death. The autopsy showed that the young woman had also suffered past physical abuse before her death.
A preliminary autopsy report by Kuwaiti authorities did not mention rape or past abuse, but did agree with the Philippine reports that the victim had died from “trauma due to the infliction of injuries to the body.”
DOLE said that the young woman had sought help from her recruiting agency in order to be repatriated. The latter now faces the possible cancellation of its license for failing to help her.
Meanwhile, Kuwaiti authorities have arrested the woman's employer.
Philippine authorities condemned Villavende's death, describing it as a "clear violation" of the agreement signed by Kuwait and the Philippines in 2018.
The agreement, which came at the end of a diplomatic crisis caused by the gruesome murder of another Filipino worker, Joanna Demafelis, was meant to protect the rights and well-being of Filipino workers in the Gulf state.