Much Needed, Much Abused

| October 31, 2001

Much Needed, Much Abused, Kim Ghattas, Inter Press Service
Arab countries represent five of the top ten host countries for emigrating Filipinos in search of work, notes Kim Ghattas of Inter Press Service. While the number of Filipino workers is staggering -- in Kuwait there are 1.4 million foreign workers for 825,000 Kuwaitis -- the way their employers treat them is what's drawing attention. Arab government officials often confiscate workers' passports upon arrival in their new country and give them to the immigrants' employers, allowing those employers to control the workers' freedom of movement. Filipina maids, obliged to work long hours, also are obliged to satisfy their employers' sexual requests. In addition to employers imposing serious punishments on Filipinos, legal protection for foreign workers is non-existent, leaving them subject to harshly applied Muslim laws.
--Kate Garsombke
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