• Melo Acuna

DFA repatriates human trafficking victims

Human trafficking victims due to arrive today

MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the first batch of six (6) Filipinas from the Philippine Embassy in Damascus are set to reach home this afternoon.

In a statement, the DFA said the six Filipinas left Syria Thursday evening (February 4) and scheduled to reach NAIA this afternoon after a layover in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

They are victims of human trafficking and were illegally hired to work in Syria from being tourists in Dubai. They belong to a group of 38 Filipinas temporarily housed at a shelter maintained by the Philippine Embassy in Damascus. They are undocumented workers in Syria who ran away from their employers due to severe working conditions.

The Department of Foreign Affairs through the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs and the Philippine Embassy in Damascus coordinated with the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) chaired by the Department of Justice to help repatriates in filing criminal complaints against human traffickers who recruited them in their home provinces, in Dubai and in Syria. The victims have prepared their complaint-affidavits at the shelter in Damascus.

The DFA coordinated with the Syrian authorities and employers to secure exit clearances for the repatriates. The DFA has utilized the Assistance to National Fund and the Legal Assistance Fund to assist the remaining wards with the court cases including making representations with Syrian immigration for the grant of exit visas for repatriation back home. (Melo M. Acuña)




Human trafficking victims from Syria arrives today. (DFA supplied photo)

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