Saudi Crackdown: What You Need to Do As an OFW in Saudi Arabia

[Image Credit: Mag-Invest Ka Pinoy]

Recently, a video showcasing the rescue of a Filipino working as an Overseas Filipino Worker in distress went viral. Many people cannot help themselves but share the said video. A lot of Filipinos were not able to hide their anger and frustrations after seeing the said post.

Along with the anger of many people, the video also raised the brows of many social media users. Some people pointed out that they cannot see the reason why the video uploader shared the video. Some also shared their concern that it might risk the lives of other OFWs working in Kuwait.

OFWs welcomed by the government. [Image Credit: Sport Breaking News]
OFWs welcomed by the government. [Image Credit: Sports Breaking News]

Saudi Crackdown

Tomorrow will be the start of the crackdown in Saudi Arabia. This is the country’s way to eliminate illegal expats or those working in the country with no valid documents.

The next question would be: what will you do if you are suddenly arrested in the Gulf Estate? Do you know what are the steps you need to take?

1. For OFWs who are taking public transportation, be careful of your surroundings especially when passing by residential areas.
2. Be careful when posting on Facebook. Officials are monitoring the use of social media, especially after several reports of abused domestic helpers.
3. Be careful when dealing with other people, especially Sex Syndicates.
4. For OFWs who are working as domestic helpers, prolong your patience. Deal with your employers accordingly. If things cannot be fixed by simple talks, talk to your family in the Philippines and ask them to contact the government agencies POEA and OWWA for you.

[Image Credit: Gulf News]
[Image Credit: Gulf News]

When You Are Arrested and Detained

1. If the police picked you up, arrested you, and detained you to a place, contact the Consulate immediately. Their phone numbers are +966 55 521 9613 and +966 12 619 0997. You have the right to contact our Embassy under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
2. If you cannot help yourself and post something on social media or other OFW Advocates, it is okay since it’s your right to do so. However, please remember that in Saudi Arabia, the only people who can help you are lawyers and the Embassy.
3. If you cannot contact the consulate, call your friends or coworkers and ask them to report the incident as soon as possible.

Know Your Rights

1. No person shall be arrested, detained, searched, and imprisoned except in cases provided by the law. These should be done in places designated for such purposed and for periods prescribed by competent authorities.
2. They don’t have the right to hurt you physically, mentally or verbally.
3. When you are arrested, you have the right to a lawyer or a representative of the Consulate to represent you and assist during the investigation and trial stage.
4. During investigations, do not accept any allegations that you didn’t do.
5. Do not sign any documents that you don’t understand.

Make sure you have your valid documents with you at all times. [Image Credit: Living in Saudi Arabia]
Make sure you have your valid documents with you at all times. [Image Credit: Living in Saudi Arabia]
Before you go outside of your room or house, write down the number of the Consulate and place it in your wallet or bag.

Please be careful, our modern day heroes!

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