The host government had just launched a massive crackdown on undocumented migrants last week, according to a Filipino migrants group providing assistance to distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Migrante-Middle East (M-ME) regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona said his group is receiving requests for assistance from undocumented OFWs in Jordan for fear of being caught amid arrest of more than 30 of them since last Monday, September 26.
“As per reports we have received from some of the undocumented OFWs who asked our assistance, there are 20 women OFWs, who used to work as domestic workers in Jordan, were nabbed by the host govt. authorities last Monday,” Monterona added.
The following day, another 8 undocumented OFWs were caught by the host govt. authorities.
Monterona citing reports from the undocumented OFWs, the host govt. authorities are massively conducting house-to-house search of illegal or undocumented migrants in its capital city, Amman and other nearby places.
“Report reaching us is that the host govt. recently issued an instruction to conduct house-to-house search to clean-up the country amid proliferation of undocumented migrants,” Monterona adding that his group is still verifying if the crackdown is only targeting undocumented OFWs or migrants of other nationalities, too.
Monterona said most of the undocumented OFWs were ‘absconder’ or those who were forced to run away from their employers due to abuse and maltreatment and violations of their employment contract.
Monterona noted the deplorable conditions and rampant abuse and maltreatment of OFWs in Jordan prompted the PH govt. to imposed a ban on the deployment of household service workers or popularly known as domestic helpers in January 2008.
“As an off-shoot of the imposition of deployment ban in Jordan, just as like of the ban imposed in Lebanon, illegal deployment activities by human traffickers and illegal recruiters victimizing thousands of OFWs and aspiring OFWs, had only proliferated” Monterona said.
As the host govt. intensifies the crackdown of undocumented OFWs, Monterona calls on the host govt. to respect the fundamental human rights of the undocumented OFWs.
“We appeal to the host govt. to regularize, if not immediately repatriate, the undocumented OFWs and migrants of other nationalities while ensuring that their rights are respected,” Monterona averred.
The Saudi-based OFW leader also calls on the PH embassy officials in Jordan to provide assistance to the nabbed undocumented OFWs and liaise with the concerned host govt. authorities for their documentation or immediate repatriation.
According to Monterona, as per his group estimate, there are around 40,000 to 50,000 OFWs in Jordan.
“Sixty percent, or even more, are undocumented,” Monterona ended. # # #
John Leonard Monterona
Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator
Email: [email protected]