Filipino workers return to Saudi Arabia after reforms -

Filipino workers return to Saudi Arabia after reforms

  • Published on
    November 7, 2022
  • News Source Image
  • Category:
    Domestic Slavery, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking, Law & Policy
Hero Banner

Workers from the Philippines, including domestic and construction workers, will be able to go to Saudi Arabia for work again, after the southeast Asian country lifted a temporary labor migration ban.  

Officials say the lifting of the ban is a response to a series of measures that have been taken to tackle the exploitation of migrant workers in Saudi Arabia. 

How have governments improved protections for migrant workers? 

The Philippines government imposed the ban last year due to systematic abuse, including the non-payment of wages, and the COVID-19 pandemic. However, labor officials believe that recent reforms will improve protections for Filipino workers. 

ABC News reports: 

Susan Ople, who heads the country’s newly established Department of Migrant Workers, said months of negotiations with Saudi Arabian officials have led to an agreement on additional safeguards, including the adoption of a standard employment contract that provides insurance coverage for workers for non-payment of salaries and allows workers to change employers in the case of abuse. 

Dedicated Saudi officials will handle human trafficking complaints and a fairer system for settling disputes between workers and employers will be rolled out. 

Moreover, officials from both countries will meet to review salaries of Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia and to continue discussions about unpaid wages dating back six years.  

A country powered by remittances

The economy of the Philippines relies heavily on the money overseas workers send home to their families. Indeed, around one in ten of the population currently live and work abroad.  

However, despite the financial gains of overseas work, Filipino workers have faced systemic abuse and exploitation around the world, especially domestic workers.

Call on Saudi Arabia to ratify Convention 189 

The Domestic Workers Convention 189 is a global standard that sets out measures for governments to protect domestic workers, but many governments are yet to ratify it, including Saudi Arabia. 

We welcome the collaboration between the Philippines and Saudi Arabia to improve conditions and strengthen protections for migrant workers, and call on Saudi Arabia to continue this progress by ratifying the Domestic Workers Convention 189 immediately. 

Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This week

Migrant teens not living the American dream, they’re “living the American nightmare”

An investigative journalism piece from PBS recently uncovered evidence that migrant teens arriving at the U.S. border are being exploited by hiring agencies in the seafood processing sector as a source of cheap labor.   Businesses think child labor = cheap labor  The Public's Radio interviewed more than two dozen migrant teens who described working overnight shifts, killing, cleaning, and weighing crabs. The teens reported they got to sleep for a few

| Monday September 18, 2023

Read more