10 Pinays rescued from Iraq spa
Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - November 6, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Ten Filipinas were rescued by officials of the Philippine embassy in Baghdad and authorities in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, an embassy report said.

The Filipinas, who were exploited and abused at a spa in Erbil owned by a Lebanese man, are on their way to Manila, the embassy said.

Authorities arrested their employer and shut down his spa.

Embassy chargé d’affaires Elmer Cato, citing statements given to the embassy and Kurdish authorities, said the 10 women were forced to work 12 hours a day every day, with only three hours off once a week.

They were paid only $300 of the $500 promised them and get deductions ranging from $100 to $500 for infractions such as smoking, taking naps or even failing to clean the toilet properly, he added.

Cato said the women were subjected to what is tantamount to debt bondage.

“For the small amount they were making, there was no way these women would have been able to raise the $10,000 their employer wanted them to pay if they return to the Philippines before the end of their two-year employment contract,” he said.

The embassy said it has been monitoring the spa as early as June this year when two Filipinas ran away and reported the exploitation and abuse they suffered from their employer. The two were repatriated after the embassy sought the assistance of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

 

ACIRC ATILDE AUTHORITIES CATO ELMER CATO EMBASSY EMPLOYER ERBIL FILIPINAS MINISTRY OF LABOR AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS OF THE KURDISTAN REGIONAL GOVERNMENT TEN FILIPINAS
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