KUWAIT CITY, May 13: The Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Villa says he has no precise figures on the number of Filipina who were subjected to sexual harassment or rape over the past year although there were 300 reported cases of sexual harassment and 80 cases of pregnancies and 90 percent of the ‘victims’ were domestic workers. Villa told the Al-Rai daily these figures are based on the statistics issued by the Ministry of Interior. He also said there are 141,000 domestic workers in Kuwait. He indicated he visited the shelter for expatriate workers about a week ago with some members of the embassy and met the director of the center, Falah Al-Mutairi.
During the visit he agreed on the possibility of transferring some of the Filipino workers at the center to shelters belonging to the embassy particularly those who have completed the fingerprinting process with the Immigration Department and spoke of the appointment of four persons as liaison officers from the embassy to work at the center, including a social worker and two translators. He said at the moment there are 12 Filipino women at the government center but this figure is expected to rise after the transfer of some Filipinas from the embassy shelter to the government shelter.
He pointed out most of the cases are reported absconding by the sponsors while others are of those who have overstayed after the expiry of their residence permit. In some cases where financial issues are concerned the embassy tried to deal with the sponsor directly or through the maids hiring office. He disclosed those who don’t have the passports, the embassy issues them the travel documents to help them leave the country. Villa confirmed the embassy does not send any maid who is pregnant to the shelter but deals directly with the Immigration Department at the Ministry of Interior