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32 undocumented OFWs nabbed in Saudi Arabia

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A total of 32 undocumented overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have been apprehended by Saudi Arabian authorities in their crackdown of overstaying migrant workers in the Middle-Eastern country, a Filipino migrants' rights group disclosed today.

Based on reports it received from Al-Khobar, eastern region of Saudi Arabia, Migrante-Middle East said authorities began raiding various accommodations of migrant workers who are believed to be undocumented expatriates.

Last Nov. 23, the group said a composite team from Jawasat police and mutawa (cultural police) started the crackdown by raiding accommodations and houses at Tukbah, Al-Khobar, where suspected undocumented migrants are staying.

“We appeal to the Saudi government to respect the rights of OFWs in the conduct of its intensified campaign to hunt 'illegal' and undocumented migrants,” the group said.

Migrante has also called on the Saudi government to consider granting a general amnesty that would cover illegal and undocumented migrant workers.

"We also call on the Aquino administration through the Office of Vice President Jejomar Binay and the Department of Foreign Affairs to lobby to the host government the legalization of all undocumented OFWs, giving them the option to be repatriated or to stay, and find job in the Kingdom,” the group added.

Last October, the Saudi government granted a Royal pardon but it was known later that it applies only to pilgrims whose visit visas have already lapsed.

The Royal pardon will end on March 31, 2011. - By Dennis Carcamo (Philstar News Service, www.philstar.com)




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