3 OFWs in Saudi suffer from rape, physical abuse, and not being paid

The issues about overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) being maltreated, physically abused, raped, and not being paid are cases that we are already aware of and somewhat get used to because they are often the highlights of the news about OFWs. Most of these cases happen in the Middle East like Saudi Arabia.

Despite these grave experiences of OFWs, many Filipinos still would want to work in Saudi Arabia because of their dream to earn more money and to give a better life for their family.

Lately, GMA News reported three cases of OFWs who had been suffering from either rape, physical abuse and not being paid.

One of these three cases was a 14-year old OFW, “Amira” (not her real name), who was physically abused by her employers.  Amira’s papers were faked by her recruiter to make it appear that her age was legal to work abroad.

She was then allowed to travel to Saudi to work as a domestic helper and had a contract with an employer who, according to her, was abusing her physically.

She escaped from her employer because she could no longer bear the physical abuse being committed on her.  She found a man, also a foreigner, who promised to help her but she ended up being locked up in a room by him and was raped three times.  She managed to escape from the said man when he had an accident.

Another OFW, “Jana” (not her real name), 17 years old, also escaped from her employers because she was accused of theft.  Her papers were also faked by her recruiter to make her age legal for work abroad.

According to Jana, she was being forced to work in the houses of her employer’s friends without pay. The worse that happened to her was that she was accused of stealing from her employers that made her decide to escape to avoid more serious problems.

Both OFWs, Amira and Jana, are in the custody of the  Philippine Overseas Labor Office (PALO) at Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)  in Jeddah. PALO is now working on their papers to be able to go home safely to their families.

The 3rd case is Raquel Reyes, 45 years old, who worked for 3 years as a domestic helper in Jeddah. She complained that she was not being treated fairly by her employers. She was not being fed properly and was forced to work more than the required hours.

Reyes told GMA News that her employer had not given her five months salary equivalent to a hundred thousand pesos.  She arrived in the Philippines this August for her vacation but because of the bad experiences she had with her employer, she decided not to go back anymore to Saudi to work.

The 3 OFWs are hoping that the government can help them and a living assistance may be accorded to them.

Source: GMA News

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