BEIRUT, July 28 (Mabuhay) — The Philippine Embassy in Lebanon sent home a total of 14 distressed overseas Filipino workers in July 2022 composed of physically abused workers, sheltered runaways, and detained nationals.

In coordination with relevant Lebanese authorities, they were cleared from respective immigration liabilities.

Repatriates expressed their gratitude to the Philippine Embassy for extending the much-needed welfare and legal assistance, considering the blow of the economic crisis on vulnerable migrant workers in Lebanon.

During the first quarter of 2022, its shelter catered to distressed and undocumented Filipinos almost at full capacity. With the most recent repatriation, shelter occupancy is now down by 98 percent.

Narratives of illegal recruitment bound for Lebanon have been common amid the deployment ban of household service workers to the country since 2007.

Leah, not her real name, was trafficked into Lebanon in May 2022 after working in three different countries in the region.

She was physically abused just a week after arrival. After reporting her ordeal to the embassy, she was provided with legal and repatriation assistance accordingly.

Her story is one of many Filipino migrant workers, documented or not, who continue to brave the socio-economic and labor conditions in Lebanon.

The embassy also monitors and ensures the welfare of Filipino nationals in various penal facilities in Lebanon. It prioritizes the provision of legal assistance and their earliest possible repatriation while giving basic supplies, as deemed necessary.

Following the repatriation flight, the embassy reduced the number of jailed Filipino workers in Lebanon by 70 percent.

Repatriates will be assisted by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) with their quarantine accommodations and onward domestic flights to their respective hometowns.

The embassy continuously offers individual exit clearance endorsements for undocumented and distressed OFWs. Victims of abuse are also provided with psychosocial and legal assistance. (MNS)

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