Filipino Women Sent to Syria, Experience Abuse, Rape and Imprisonment

Published January 27th, 2021 - 07:26 GMT
The story has triggered anger about domestic workers’ rights and human trafficking issues worldwide. (Shutterstock)
The story has triggered anger about domestic workers’ rights and human trafficking issues worldwide. (Shutterstock)
Highlights
Another 48-year-old victim added to the post "felt like a prostitute" after arriving in Syria.

Dozens of women and girls, as young as 12, from The Philippines have been tricked and forcibly trafficked to Syria instead of UAE, according to a newly shared report by the Washington Post.

The 35 Female workers have revealed their horrible stories of being abused, sexually violated, imprisoned and even sold into slavery in Syria.

The report also revealed, the women have sought refuge in the Philippines embassy in Damascus; to complain about the abnormal working conditions while working for affluent families, they also asked the embassy to help them return to their homeland.

17 Filipino women and children workers have spoken to the Washington Post revealing grief details about their experiences in Syria as some of the victims were denied payment for the work they were tricked into. 

One of the women, named Flordeliza Arejola, said: "My employer slapped me and put my head into the wall. I escaped because he did not give me a salary for nine months.”

At the Phillipinian embassy in Damascus

Some of these abused women have stayed at their embassy for around three years waiting to be deported back home. The victims shared horrible stories; from being locked in their rooms, deprived of breakfast for as long as two weeks, or being pressed by staff to return to work.

The victims stated that they applied for 30-day tourist visas by recruitment agencies to the United Arab Emirate, they arrived in the gulf country but they were kept in cramped, dirty living quarters then they were offered to go to conflicted Syrian areas to work for rich families and for better life conditions. However, eventually they ended up facing harsh situations and exposed to violence, rape and threats.

Another 48-year-old victim added to the post "felt like a prostitute" after arriving in Syria "because we all stand in a line, and the employers choose who they want," saying that wealthy people there were able to pay $8,000-$10,000 to take one woman home.

The story has triggered anger about domestic workers’ rights and human trafficking issues worldwide. As some believed that embassies must look-after their people in the countries they travel to work in.


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