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Hundreds of Filipino workers return home

On April 26, 2007

NaharNet is reporting that over 300 Filipino migrant workers from Lebanon and Saudi Arabia are returning to their home country, with Filipino Labor Secretary Arturo Brion reporting that many of them had complained of "unpaid salaries, abuses, maltreatment, sexual harassments and rapes." It is widely known, but rarely recognized in Lebanese and Saudi media, that these abuses are indeed carried out, often with impunity, against Filipinos and others who migrate to countries in the Middle East to find work.

One reflection of the lack of willingness to recognize this problem is that NaharNet, in its report, leaves "abused" and "abusive" in quotations, as if challenging the credibility of those claims. The same article which denies that they have been "abused" cites numbers which argue otherwise: since 2006, over 1,000 Filipino workers have returned home under similar circumstances.

This problem cannot be addressed until we begin to recognize that workers are abused, are manipulated, and are cheated. An important step in this process is ensuring that the media picks up on these issues and begins to recognize their severity.

Voice your objection to NaharNet's characterization of this abuse as "abuse" by visiting the website and leaving a comment on the bottom. Also consider sending an e-mail to the editors by visiting this website.