SOME 107 distressed Filipinos in Abu Dhabi have been repatriated by the Philippine Embassy.
Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Civilian Security and Consular Concerns Brigido Dulay said the DFA has settled the Filipinos’ court cases, paid their immigration penalties and secured their exit visas.
Most of the Filipinos staying in the DFA shelter were found to have left the country using short-term visit visas and were work visas by illegal recruiters.
“They were trafficked by illegal recruiters via tourist visas,” Dulay said.
Many of them were overworked, suffered maltreatment, and experienced contract violations by their employer.
The DFA reiterated its warning to Filipinos seeking employment abroad against the use of tourist or visit visas to secure overseas jobs.
OFWs without the proper employment documents are more prone to abuses and exploitation by their employers, the DFA stressed.
The DFA has been receiving reports about illegal recruiters using a third or fourth country, usually where a visa is not required for Filipinos and some countries in the Middle East, as jump-off points to send Filipino workers to banned destinations.
The DFA vowed to continue to partner with other member agencies of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) to prevent human trafficking.
The IACAT is the central coordinating body that monitors and oversees the strict implementation of the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.
It is mandated, among others, to establish the necessary institutional mechanism for the protection and support of trafficked persons and ensure the timely, coordinated and effective response to cases of trafficking in persons particularly in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking persons cases.