The Philippines has temporarily halted sending new domestic workers to Kuwait after the grotesque murder of 35-year-old domestic worker Jullebee Ranara in the Gulf country last month.
Philippine Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople announced the decision in a statement yesterday explaining that it will remain in force “until radical reforms are carried out, guarantees are adopted to protect workers” resulting from upcoming bilateral talks with Kuwaiti officials.
Ople said the Department of Migrant Workers is not yet imposing a total deployment ban in consideration of other overseas Filipinos who had worked for years in Kuwait, and Philippine officials are preparing for talks with the Kuwaiti government.
She believed that “changes will be made, especially with regard to the protection of Filipino workers in the country.”
Ople, who is currently in Tokyo, said alternative destinations for Filipino domestic workers are available in nearby countries such as Hong Kong and Singapore.
Last month, Ranara, was “raped, killed” and her charred body was abandoned in the desert by her employer’s 17-year-old son.
At the time, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior announced that it had arrested the boy and referred him to the concerned authorities.
In the aftermath of the murder, the Philippine government announced that it would take steps to assess and prevent abuses, particularly “rape and ill-treatment of Filipina workers” in Kuwait.
In the aftermath of the crime, hundreds of Filipina workers left Kuwait to return home.
Prior to the incident, some 268,000 Filipinos worked in Kuwait.