Much Needed, Much Abused

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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