THE Department of Foreign Affairs warned the public on a recruitment network in Pampanga and Pasay City, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and Erbil in Iraq deploying household service workers (HSWs) abroad.
This warning came after eight more human trafficking victims were rescued by the Philippine Embassy in Bagdad last month. The Filipinos were deported to the Philippines.
The DFA was told by the trafficking victims that these recruiters offer jobs in Dubai, Turkey or European cities promising applicants that their visas to these cities will be available during their travel to Iraq.
Earlier this year, a trafficking victim detained at Basra Prison was released after three months of detention for visa violations.
She came to Iraq using a Kurdistan visit visa which was not valid for her stay in Basra from July 2018.
Filipinos residing, working, or vacationing in Iraq are advised to take note that their Kurdistan visas will not be valid in Baghdad, Basra or other provinces in Iraq outside of the Kurdistan provinces of Erbil, Duhok and Sulaymaniyah.
The DFA warned travelling Filipinos that Iraq imposes imprisonment and hefty penalties for persons found with expired visas or without visas.
Filipinos who encounter job offers abroad especially vacancies for household service workers are reminded of the early warning signs of fraud: (1) Applicants are not provided copies of their visas to the intended destination; (2) Vague information on the nature and conditions of the work offered by the recruitment agency; (3) Applicants are not in control of their own identification documents such as IDs or passport and are advised to claim to authorities that he or she is just a tourist visiting a particular city; (4) The agency has no permanent address, and their agents do not reveal their full names and contact details, applicants are advised of particular immigration lanes to choose during departure from the Philippines, and; (5) Applicants are told that there is no Philippine Embassy in Iraq and applicants must coordinate with particular individuals in case of emergencies.