Emiratos Árabes Unidos - Filipinos in UAE speak out against deceptive recruitment

Filipino workers being sent to non-existent jobs in Dubai have highlighted the desire of recruiters to increase profits through deception and circumventing the law. Thirty Filipinas who came to work in Dubai had fled their employers’ homes and sought refuge at a makeshift shelter inside the Philippine overseas labour office in Al Ghusais.

The women were told they would be working in sectors such as the hospitality industry, but ended up as household workers when they arrived in Dubai. They were hired for jobs such as waitresses, front-desk officers, receptionists, pool attendants, cooks, sales clerks and cleaners.

Copies of their sworn statements against their recruiters were sent to Manila, along with a report prepared by Delmer Cruz, the labour attaché in Dubai.

At least 21 Philippine-based agencies were named in Mr Cruz’s report. They resorted to an illegal practice called reprocessing by passing off a domestic worker as some other type of worker to avoid stringent recruitment requirements.

Most of the reprocessing cases happened even before the Philippine labour office in Dubai stopped verifying contracts in June after a new standard contract for domestic staff produced by the Ministry of Interior took effect on June 1 last year. Last week, Manila’s labour department instructed the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (Poea), which oversees the licensing of recruitment agencies, to investigate the rogue agencies. These agencies now face suspension or cancellation of their licences.

Mr Cruz had also submitted a separate report on the illegal recruitment and human trafficking cases involving nine Filipinas. “In the past two months, we have admitted nine human trafficking victims,” he said. “And just this month, we received four more victims.” The women were issued UAE tourist visas and hired by individuals instead of recruitment agencies licensed by the Poea in Manila. They were made to exit the Philippines either from Kalibo Airport or by boat from Zamboanga to Sandakan in Malaysia. They later used the Kuala Lumpur-Colombo-Dubai route, travelling in batches of five to ten persons per airline, “They were issued dummy return tickets and hotel bookings to show they’re genuine tourists when in fact they came here to work. We need to warn job-seekers not to fall victim to human trafficking and illegal recruitment.”

© ITUC-CSI-IGB 2013 | www.ituc-csi.org | Contact Design by Pixeleyes.be - maps: jVectorMap