|Five Filipinos who were trafficked to Syria arrived back in the Philippines on July 29, 201. (Photo from Released/ DFA)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] MANILA— Five Filipino trafficking survivors from Syria were repatriated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and arrived back in the Philippines last Thursday. The repatriates were illegally hired to work in Syria after arriving as tourists in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, DFA said in a statement released Friday night, PhilStar reported.
“The report we received indicated that they sought refuge at the Philippine Embassy in Damascus because of the abuses they received from their employers, not to mention the poor working conditions,” Undersecretary Sarah Lou Y. Arriola said. The department also said it would be extending reintegration assistance to the five repatriates. Another six trafficking survivors from Syria were repatriated in February this year. Three others returned home in April.
It was a Washington Post report titled "Sold into Syrian servitude, Filipina workers tell of abuse, rape and imprisonment," that first bared the plight of dozens of Filipino who women recruited to work in the United Arab Emirates but trafficked to Syria to serve as domestic workers without their consent. The report details that the migrant workers were at times denied pay and suffered physical and sexual abuse at the hands of their employers.