DMW to look into Filipinos’ complaints vs Pakistani diplomats

The Department of Migrant Workers on Friday confirmed a report of Filipinas suing their Pakistani diplomat employers in Switzerland over various welfare issues, including long-overdue wage pay, abuse and exploitation, and even human trafficking.

During a press briefing primarily about recent talks with Saudi Arabia, DMW Secretary Susan Ople said that she received a report from the Migrant Workers’ Office in Geneva, Switzerland, and that they would look into the matter following their Saudi visit.

“I saw in my email that there’s a report from our post in Geneva MWO about this. Yes, we’re aware about this, and we’ll study the recommendations from the Geneva,” Ople said.

Three days ago, Al Jazeera reported that four Filipinas – all domestic workers – are suing members of the Pakistani Mission to the United Nations in Switzerland over issues of unpaid wages, as well as ‘threats, coercion, exploitation, and human trafficking.’

The report particularly focused on a certain Virginia, one of the four OFWs, who said that she has not been receiving pay worth $1,329 for more than two decades, that she has been working without pay three times a week, and that she was demanded ‘her compliance and her silence.’

One notable hurdle in their legal battle, as Al Jazeera pointed out, is their employers’ diplomatic immunity status, according to Article 31, Section 1 of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Convention.

“A diplomatic agent shall enjoy immunity from the criminal jurisdiction of the receiving State. He shall also enjoy immunity from its civil and administrative jurisdiction…,” the provision stated.

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