Kuwait orders Philippines ambassador to leave in domestic workers dispute
April 25 2018 05:05 PM
Filippino Ambassador in Kuwait Renato PO Villa speaks during a press conference
Filippino Ambassador in Kuwait Renato PO Villa speaks during a press conference at the Philippines embassy in Kuwait City last Saturday. AFP


Kuwait on Wednesday ordered the Philippines ambassador to leave within a week and recalled its own envoy for consultations after embassy staff tried to "rescue" Filipino domestic workers amid reports of abuse.
The decision was the latest episode in a three-month crisis sparked by reports that abuse by employers Kuwait had driven several Filipinos to suicide.
The Philippines had apologized on Tuesday for what Kuwait viewed as a "flagrant" violation of its sovereignty, with the Philippine foreign secretary saying the embassy was forced to "assist” Filipino workers who sought help as some situations were a matter of life and death.
Kuwait's foreign ministry said it had given the ambassador three days to provide the names of Filipino residents in Kuwait who had "kidnapped" domestic workers from their employers' homes, adding it had yet to receive a response from the embassy.
Kuwaiti security forces "will continue to chase down those who violated the security of the country" and put them on trial, the ministry added in a statement.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesman, Harry Roque, declined to comment on the Kuwaiti decision.
Domestic helpers account for more than 65 percent of the more than 260,000 Filipinos in Kuwait, according to the Philippines' foreign secretary.
In February, Duterte called on Filipino workers in Kuwait to return home after the discovery of a domestic worker’s body in a freezer in an abandoned home. He said then that a list of both reported and unreported cases of mistreatment of Filipino migrant workers would be prepared.

Last updated: April 25 2018 07:16 PM

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