The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait repatriated 143 runaway housemaids to Manila evening through Kuwait government’s Assisted Voluntary Repatriation Program (AVRP). With this scheme, repatriated workers are sent straight to the airport without passing through the deportation center (Talha). The repatriated workers were temporarily housed at the embassy’s shelter in Hateen for various reasons ranging from maltreatment to sexual and verbal abuse. Around 300 more remain at the two embassy shelters in Faiha and Hateen awaiting repatriation. The repatriated workers are the biggest batch of returnees so far this year. There are an estimated 200,000 Filipinos in Kuwait, more than one third of whom are engaged in domestic work. Around five to seven housemaids run away from their employers daily. According to Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Pedro Villa, the Philippines along with two other nations in Africa are the only remaining labor-exporting countries sending housemaids to Kuwait.
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