Final Batch of Filipino Human Trafficking Survivors from Syria Arrives Home

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The shelter wards arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 on 26 June 2021.

PASAY CITY, 27 June 2021— The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), through the Office of Undersecretary of the Migrant Worker's Affairs and the Philippine Embassy in Damascus, Syria, successfully repatriated the remaining twenty two (22)  shelter wards at the Embassy shelter, who all arrived safely on 26 June 2021 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. These latest batch of repatriates are all survivors of human trafficking who sought refuge at the Embassy shelter after being subjected to abuse by their employers and poor working conditions.

The repatriation presents another milestone as all the wards in the Embassy shelter finally made it home, after lengthy and difficult negotiations conducted by the Philippine Embassy in Damascus with the wards’ employers and recruitment agencies, as well as government officials of the Syrian Arab Republic, for the issuance of exit visas to the trafficking victims.

"The repatriation of all our remaining shelter wards from Syria reflects the DFA's unwavering  commitment towards protecting and assisting each and every one of our distressed kababayan who are in need of help and assistance." said Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Lou Y. Arriola.

The repatriates were welcomed at the airport by representatives of the DFA and other member agencies of the IACAT. They were also briefed on health quarantine protocols. The DFA and other government agencies will likewise extend reintegration assistance to the newly repatriated human trafficking survivors as they start over a new life in the Philippines.

The  repatriates will also be assisted in the filing  and prosecution of criminal complaints for violation of the Anti-Human Trafficking in Persons act under Republic Act 9208 as amended, as well as acts of lllegal Recruitment prohibited under Republic Act 8042 as amended, to hold into account those who perpetrated the crime against them. END

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The shelter wards arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 on 26 June 2021.