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Philippine workers banned from 41 countries


12:20 PM November 2nd, 2011

November 2nd, 2011 12:20 PM

MANILA — The Philippines said Wednesday it had banned Filipinos from travelling to work in 41 countries and territories that had allegedly failed to provide enough safeguards to protect them from abuse.

The Department of Labour and Employment in a board resolution posted on its website said the blacklisted countries failed to sign international conventions protecting foreign workers.

Neither have these countries signed bilateral agreements with the Philippines “on the protection of the rights of overseas Filipino workers,” the resolution said.

They also do not have their own laws protecting foreign workers, the resolution added.

Included in the list were strife-torn countries such as Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Sudan, Chad and Pakistan.

It was not clear how the deployment ban could affect the country’s economy. The labor minister was not immediately available to comment when contacted by AFP.

There are an estimated nine million Filipino overseas workers, or about 10 percent of the country’s population, official statistics show.

Many of them work as maids, laborers or seamen in areas where they are vulnerable to abuse although many Filipinos also work in higher positions in Western nations.

Their dollar remittances have traditionally kept the Philippine economy afloat, although reports of abuse are common.

While Manila has in the past banned deployment to some areas locked in conflict, many Filipinos still leave through illegal means rather than take low-paying jobs at home.

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