A Filipino woman working as a housekeeper in Kuwait was found murdered. As a result, the problem of abuse against migrant women in the Philippines is rising again, with the Philippine government restricting the dispatch of its workers to Kuwait.
According to Arab media Al Arabia and local media in the Philippines on the 5th (local time), the body of a Filipino woman, Julebi Lanara (35), was recently found in a desert in Kuwait.
Lanara's body was badly damaged by burns and an autopsy showed she was sexually assaulted and killed.
The 17-year-old man, identified as a suspect, was arrested by Kuwait's security forces a day after the body was found. The man was identified as the son of an employer in Lanara. Before the incident, Lanara told her family in the Philippines that she was "scared of her employer's son." In response, the Philippine government announced that it will check the human rights conditions, including sexual violence and abuse of Filipino women in Kuwait, and come up with measures to prevent them. It also plans to review the labor protection agreement between the two countries. Currently, the Philippine Migrant Workers' Office has been blacklisted by Kuwait's migrant workers, strictly limiting the dispatch of new workers.
The procession of Filipino women returning home is also continuing. According to Al-Arabia, at least 114 Filipino women left Kuwait within four days of the incident. Hundreds of women also visited an emergency support center run by the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait, and most of them reportedly returned home.
Currently, there are about 260,000 Filipino workers in Kuwait, mainly housekeepers. About one in 10 out of 110 million Filipino workers work abroad due to severe unemployment and poverty problems in the Philippines. This is not the first time that Philippine migrant women in Kuwait have been abused. In January 2020, a Filipino woman was found dead after being abused by her employer, and Filipino women were also killed by her employer in 2019 and 2018. At that time, the Philippine government strongly condemned this and banned its citizens from sending workers to Kuwait. As a result, the ban was lifted as Kuwait authorities punished the suspects and the two countries signed a worker protection agreement. [News 1]