The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) hit the Philippines amid rift with Kuwait, telling the Catholic South Asian nation to cease its decades-long slavery by stop sending slave domestic helpers to Middle East.
On Monday, UNHRC High Commissioner Laura Boldt said during the Arab Summit in Doha that slavery is the biggest problem and the Philippines is till practicing it legally.
“Sending unskilled and less-educated people to work for other people is a form of slavery. Employers should not only be the ones to blame if there are employee-employer misunderstanding, but the employees too. Sometimes, the lack of understanding, skills, and culture is the main reasons why these workers are being the victims of abuse. The root cause of the problem should be address and I believe the Philippines should stop sending slaves abroad to eliminate this problem”, Boldt said.
According the UNHR 2017 statistics, more than 780 Filipinos are detained in 16 Middle Eastern and African countries and most of them are domestic helpers and laborers.
“Sending less educated people abroad will only cause problem to the providing country. This problem must be addressed as soon as possible.” Boldt added.
President Rodrigo Duterte said he will not send any domestic helper anymore to Kuwait but it wasn’t clear if skilled workers and professionals like engineers, health workers, and other non-domestic helper jobs are affected.