Monday, September 21, 2015

Dozens of undocumented OFWs in Saudi Arabia appeal for amnesty

Dozens of undocumented overseas Filipino workers, most of them claiming to be victims of labor abuses and maltreatment, have appealed anew to Saudi authorities for amnesty for the legalization of their residency status or repatriation, a report on Arab News said Sunday.

Arab News also reported that the recently formed OFW Undocumented for Legalization and Amnesty (OFWULA), composed of undocumented OFWs, has called on the Philippine government to assist the expatriates by negotiating amnesty for their members.

The report said that most of some 60 OFWs making the appeal claimed to have run away from their employers due to labor issues, abuses, and maltreatment—and eventually became undocumented after their residence visas expired.

OFWULA's chairperson Frederick Cornejo, who is an undocumented OFW himself, was quoted in the report as saying that the group is "asking the Saudi government to grant amnesty to all undocumented Filipinos.”

Nely Natividad, OFWULA vice chairperson, was also quoted as saying that the group "was formed with an aim of uniting all undocumented OFWs in Saudi Arabia to appeal to the host government to grant them amnesty so they can "correct their status.”

Natividad also called on Philippine authorities to assist the group in pushing for their appeal to the Saudi government.

Citing OFWULA data, the report said that since the group was organized last July 2015, a total of 188 undocumented OFWs have been on its list.

On the other hand, the report said that stranded male OFWs at the so called “Tent City” at Exit 8 in the capital, have renewed their call to the Philippine government for their “swift and free” mass repatriation. — LBG, GMA News

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