The Philippines has strongly denounced brutal treatment of a maid by her Saudi boss after the employer allegedly forced her to drink household bleach.
The Philippines Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday that the domestic worker underwent emergency abdominal surgery after she was taken, unconscious, to a hospital in Saudi’s southwestern Jizan city on April 2.
“We are working closely with authorities in Jizan to make sure that justice will be given to Agnes Mancilla,” the statement read.
The victim is in “serious but stable condition” in hospital and Saudi police have detained her female employer, who has not been named, it noted.
The statement, citing Edgar Badajos, the Philippine consul in the Saudi city of Jeddah, said that Mancilla had worked in Saudi Arabia since 2016 “but was repeatedly physically abused by her lady employer” who had also failed to pay her salary.
The report is the latest incident of mistreatment of Filipino workers in the Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf region.
In February, allegations of abuse of domestic workers caused a diplomatic row between the Philippines and Kuwait after President Rodrigo Duterte lashed out at Kuwait, where the body of a murdered Filipino maid was found stuffed in a freezer.
Duterte claimed that Arab employers routinely raped their Filipino workers, forced them to work 21 hours a day, and fed them scraps.
Also in August 2016, a Philippine worker, who was allegedly raped by her Saudi employer, succumbed to her wounds while in a coma. Irma Avila Edloy died at King Salman Hospital in the Saudi capital Riyadh due to severe injuries.
A Philippine worker, who was allegedly raped by her Saudi employer, succumbs to her wounds while in a coma.
Arab monarchies have come under criticism by international organizations and rights groups due to mistreatment of foreign workers. Millions of poor Asians are working in Persian Gulf states. Human rights groups say many of the workers suffer exploitation and abuse, including non-payment of wages.
Human Rights Watch and other rights organizations have also slammed mass deportations of migrant workers, which are fairly common in the kingdoms and sheikhdoms, saying they often involve physical abuse and detention in poor conditions.
In January, a report by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) painted a grim picture of the human rights situation in the United Arab Emirates, raising concern over the torture of prisoners, injustice against foreign workers and discrimination against women in the Persian Gulf state. The report argued that the justice system in the UAE was complex and impeded migrant workers and the stateless from bringing their grievances to justice.
Reports said in February 2017 that Saudi Arabia had expelled nearly 40,000 Pakistani migrant workers since October 2016. Official statistics in Saudi Arabia indicate that 243,000 Pakistanis were expelled between 2012 and 2015.