CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 17 March 2018

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Rights group warns Philippines on Kuwait ban

MANILA (UCAN): The New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a February 21 report, that it would be better for Kuwait and the Philippines to agree on key reforms that could protect migrant workers, suggesting that the ban on the deployment of Filipinos to the Gulf state will only put more workers at risk.
Rothna Begum, a women’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch, said the two governments should work together to protect workers “rather than ban them from migrating.”
She said Kuwait should also confront the outcry over the reported deaths, beatings and rapes of Filipino domestic workers.
The Philippines ordered a total ban on new workers migrating to Kuwait on February 12 following the deaths of seven domestic workers in the country (Sunday Examiner, February 25).
In response, Kuwait’s state-owned recruitment agency has already started looking for workers from Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Nepal.
However, Human Rights Watch, noted that previous bans by the Philippines did little to end abuses in Kuwait or other Gulf states.
The group said people desperate to work still migrate, but through unsafe and unregulated channels, leaving them exposed to abuse and trafficking.
Kuwait, which has a population of four million people, has more than 660,000 migrant domestic workers.
At least 250,000 Filipinos work in Kuwait, most of them as domestic workers. 

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