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Philippines lifts Kuwait labour deployment ban

MANILA (UCAN): The Philippines lifted its ban on the deployment of workers to Kuwait following the signing of a deal on May 11 that provides additional protection for Filipinos in the Gulf state.
 
The president, Rodrigo Duterte, ordered the ban to be lifted on May 16, ending months of tension with Kuwait that resulted in the expulsion in April of the Philippine ambassador to the oil rich country.
 

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Philippine priest heading to Kuwait to assist migrants

MANILA (UCAN): Church leaders in the Philippines announced on April 25 that they would be sending Father Restituto Ogsimer, of the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo (Scalabrinians), to help offer pastoral care to migrant Filipino workers. 
 
This happened on the same day that the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry giving Philippine ambassador, Renato Villa, a week to leave the country on April 25 after a video came out on social media of embassy staff helping Filipino maids flee the homes of their employers. Kuwait also recalled its ambassador to Manila.

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Philippine bishops call for worker boycott of abusive states

Manila (UCAN): The Catholic bishops of the Philippines want a total ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to countries that do not have laws to protect migrants.
 
Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga, chairperson of the Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, said on March 26 that it is high time the government said no to countries where workers are abused and that a total ban is a preventive measure against human rights violations and loss of lives.
 

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Philippine bishops back migrant rights deal with Kuwait

Manila (UCAN): The Philippine bishops’ Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People is pressing the county’s government to ensure that a deal about to be struck with Kuwait guaranteeing protection for Filipino workers, most of whom are domestic helpers, is adhered to.
 
Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga, head of the commission, said the government should see to it that the provisions in the proposed deal are implemented.
 

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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.”
 

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Create jobs so Filipinos don’t have to work abroad bishop says

MANILA (UCAN): As many as 250,000 Filipinos will be affected by a total ban on the deployment of workers to Kuwait, according to a Philippine government estimate.
 
The ban, ordered by the president, Rodrigo Duterte, came following the discovery of the body of 29-year-old Joanna Daniella Demafelis in a freezer in an apartment in Kuwait. Her remains had reportedly been stored there for a year and authorities said marks on her body indicated she was strangled.
 

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Merciless government can’t beg for mercy

MANILA (SE): A Filipino migrant worker, Jakatia Pawa, was hanged in Kuwait on January 25 after being found guilty of murdering the 22-year-old daughter of her employer.

Pawa had maintained her innocence right through her long ordeal, saying that she had no motive whatsoever for killing the woman.

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Migrant workers top missionaries

BALANGA (AsiaNews): The government of the Emirate of Kuwait has granted a partial amnesty to the approximately 6,000 undocumented Filipinos in its territory and given them an opportunity to legalise their status.

Bishop Ruperto Santos, from the Commission for Migrants and Itinerant People, described the decision in a statement on March 1 as a humane gesture.

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