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.
Filipina workers tell of abuse, rape and imprisonment as they're being sold into slavery in #Syria.— Thomas van Linge (@ThomasVLinge) January 25, 2021
Slave trade in Syria was so far only known to have happened in IS territory, now it is revealed it happens in regime-held cities as well. https://t.co/XJBVGZSVmD
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.
Dozens of Filipinas recruited to work in Dubai get sold in Syria for between $8,000 to $10,000 (PhP 384,000 - PhP 480,000). @katiemcque interviewed 17 women—including a 15-year-old, and some who stayed at the Philippine Embassy at Syria for two years:https://t.co/scgzIUjn7n— Regine Cabato (@RegineCabato) January 25, 2021
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.
Absolutely appalling that the Philippine Embassy in Syria has kept this under the rug. https://t.co/nprNuhPUPO— Kathleen Magramo (@kathmaemagramo) January 26, 2021
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.
As many as 35 women are stuck in the Philippine embassy in Damascus. They say they came to the UAE to be domestic workers but were kidnapped and *sold* in Syria, forced to work without pay and sexually abused. Those who escaped can't get exit visas. https://t.co/vM9xRLFNWx— Alice Fordham (@AliceFordham) January 26, 2021
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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