Kuwait calms Philippines after dead worker found in freezer

Kuwait calms Philippines after dead worker found in freezer

The measure comes after the body of 29-year-old Joanna Demafelis, a Filipina domestic worker, was found in a freezer in a Kuwaiti flat last week.

Kuwait's foreign minister on Tuesday condemned what he called an "escalation" by Manila after the Philippines expanded a ban on its nationals working in Kuwait.

However, he said that those Kuwait-based workers holidaying in the Philippines are free to return to Kuwait to finish their contract.

"Knowing these tales of oppression and exploitation forced President Duterte to take [such a] drastic action to ban [the deployment of OFWs to] Kuwait".

Kuwait has declared an amnesty for Filipino workers who overstayed their visas and are working to help some 500 workers stuck in the country after a company refused to pay their salaries, Villa said.

He asked Kuwait: "Is there something wrong with your culture?" They are among more than two million employed in the Gulf region, whose remittances are a lifeline to the Philippine economy. 'We condemn the statements of the Philippine president, especially since we are in contact with the Philippines at the highest level to fully explain the state of the Filipino workforce in Kuwait, ' he said.

Al-Hashem, the country's only female MP, made the comments after the government of the Philippines said on Monday it would ban its citizens from being deployed for work in Kuwait after President Rodrigo Duterte highlighted a series of abuse cases.

Domestic workers in Kuwait are not covered by ordinary labour legislation.

According to OFW party-list Rep. John Bertiz, OFWs in Kuwait have no protection since the Philippines did not sign a bilateral agreement with the Arab nation.

Those interviewed by Arab News, majority household workers, said they went to Kuwait to provide a better life for their families. Kuwaiti police also are offering details on Filipino killings to his diplomats.

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