Seven trafficked Filipina women repatriated from Syria

Seven trafficked Filipina women repatriated from Syria
The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs has announced that seven women who had been forcibly trafficked to the Syrian capital Damascus were repatriated to Manila.
2 min read
21 September, 2021
The women arrived at Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport [Getty]

Seven Filipina women who were forcibly trafficked to Syria have been repatriated to their country, the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs announced on Sunday.

The women had taken refuge at the Philippines' embassy in Damascus after being abused by their employers and forced to work in poor conditions, according to the official Philippine News Agency.

They arrived at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Saturday.

The Philippines’ Foreign Affairs Department said that it had contacted the employers and recruitment agencies of the seven women, as well as officials from the regime of President Bashar al-Assad for the "prompt and appropriate issuance of exit visas".

It added that the women will receive assistance from the Philippines government to file cases against their employers.

Last January, The Washington Post revealed that dozens of Filipinas who had been recruited to work in the UAE had been trafficked from there to Syria, after being threatened by recruiters.

They were allegedly subjected to physical and sexual abuse by their employers in Damascus.

The Washington Post reported at the time that 35 Filipina women had sought refuge at their country’s embassy in the Syrian capital.

The Syrian news website Enab Baladi also reported that five Filipinas were repatriated from Syria to the Philippines at the end of July.