10 Pinay trafficking victims rescued with help from Kurdistan authorities
Ten Filipino victims of human trafficking in Iraq's Kurdistan region have recently been rescued and repatriated with the help of Kurdistan authorities, the Philippine Embassy in Baghdad said Thursday.
In a letter to Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Philippine Chargé d’Affaires Elmer G. Cato expressed the Embassy’s gratitude for the assistance in bringing the 10 victims — all Filipina — home two months ago.
He noted that the embasssy would not have been able to rescue and repatriate the victims without the support and cooperation of the Ministry of Interior, particularly Minister Karim Sinjari and Director General Sami Jalal Hussein, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
"Their actions to immediately address our concern underscores the serious commitment of the Regional Government in working with the international community in combatting human trafficking and preventing the exploitation and abuse of Filipinos and other migrant workers in Kurdistan," Cato said.
The embassy said it is looking forward to further collaborating with the Kurdistan Regional Government as well as with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in ensuring that the rights and welfare of Filipinos and other migrants working in the northern Iraqi region are protected.
Cato said the embassy is ready to work with regional authorities and the IOM in developing and strengthening their internal processes “to help ensure that the Kurdistan Region will stand out as a model in the way it protects migrant workers that it has been extending its kind hospitality to."
Available government data said there are an estimated 2,000 Filipinos in the Kurdistan region working in the oil and gas, health, hospitality and services sectors. —KBK, GMA News