Amnesty sought for group of undocumented OFWs

Amnesty sought for group of undocumented OFWs
Updated 20 September 2015

Amnesty sought for group of undocumented OFWs

Amnesty sought for group of undocumented OFWs

RIYADH: Some 60 undocumented overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are seeking amnesty here appealed anew to Saudi authorities for their legalization and repatriation through amnesty.
They claim that most of them ran away from their employers due to labor issues, abuses and maltreatment, and upon expiration of their residence visas they became undocumented.
The recently formed OFW Undocumented for Legalization and Amnesty, or OFWULA, whose members are undocumented OFWs, has called on the Philippine government to assist them by talking to the host government to explore the possibility of getting an amnesty for their members.
At a press conference held on Friday, Frederick Cornejo, OFWULA chairperson and an undocumented OFW, said, “OFWULA is asking the Saudi government to grant an amnesty for all undocumented Filipinos.”
“OFWULA was formed with an aim of uniting all undocumented OFWs in Saudi Arabia to appeal to the host government to grant amnesty and thus give the undocumented a chance to correct their status,” said Nely Natividad, OFWULA vice chairperson.
Natividad also called on the Philippine government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of Labor and Employment, to “join and help us in our appeal” by talking to the Saudi government. She added that undocumented OFWs need the assistance of Philippine officials in Saudi Arabia.
According to the group, since July 2015 when the group was formed, there were 188 undocumented on its list.
Stranded male OFWs at the so called “Tent City” at Exit 8 in the capital, have renewed their call to the Philippine government for their “swift and free” mass repatriation, seeking the help of the media and the public to ventilate their appeal for amnesty.
Migrante International will also be sending a letter of appeal to the DFA to explore the granting of amnesty by the host government. The group is seeking dialogue with Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ezzedin Tago and Philippine labor attaché Rustico de la Fuente on the issue.
The group believes that there are a considerable number of undocumented OFWs in Saudi Arabia, noting that nearly 200 have already been listed who are seeking amnesty.