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2 Filipinas, Indian woman rescued from 'detention' in Abu Dhabi

Women who came to work as maids were produced before prosecution for recording their statements

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Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The local authorities rescued two Filipinas along with an Indian woman who were “detained” in the capital, the Philippine Embassy told Gulf News on Thursday.

“They (Filipinas) reached here on tourist visas to work as maids,” said Anna Guerra, Third Sectary and Vice-Consul at the embassy.

Some people brought to the embassy’s attention some Facebook posts describing the illegal detention of the women and the embassy alerted the local authorities, she said.

“We are grateful to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officials of Abu Dhabi Police, who acted promptly to rescue the women,” Guerra said.

Abu Dhabi Police were not available for comments.

As Gulf News reported on Thursday, the Indian Embassy said the Indian maid rescued by local authorities on Tuesday had reached Abu Dhabi two months ago and she was not satisfied with the working conditions at her employer’s home.

Although she had sought the embassy’s help on August 3, she was sent back with some advice only due to some miscommunication, according to the embassy.

Later, the embassy came to know that the local authorities rescued her from “illegal detention”.

Investigation

The embassy officials said both Filipinas and the Indian were produced before the public prosecution in the capital on Thursday for recording their statements as part of the investigations.

They said they would coordinate with the local authorities to repatriate the women at the earliest.

Dinesh Kumar, the first secretary and counsellor of community affairs at the Indian Embassy, said on Thursday that local authorities have promised to give consular access to the woman after the completion of the prosecution procedures.

The Indian woman, who is from Bengaluru in Karnataka state, is in her late twenties or early thirties, he said.

“We are still waiting to get her passport copy,” Kumar said. “Then, we can check whether she came to the UAE through e-migrate, the Indian government’s electronic system for emigration with many safeguards to protect the rights of migrants,” he said.

The Philippine Embassy official said the Filipinas are from Mindoro and Quezon in Luzon province. As it is illegal to come to work in the UAE on a tourist visa, the embassy has been advising their nationals against this practice, Guerra said.

As Gulf News reported earlier, employers in the UAE have not been able to directly hire maids from the Philippines since June 2014 because of the conflicting recruitment rules in the UAE and labour-sending countries such as the Philippines. Negotiations between both nations have been going on for a while.

The issue surfaced when the UAE Ministry of Interior introduced a unified contract for domestic workers that led to the suspension of various embassies’ roles in verifying and attesting contracts, including the Philippines.

Philippine domestic laws, however, dictate that labour agencies should verify and record all contracts of household workers to protect them. Only then can they be deployed from the Philippines.

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