Filipino workers deported from Saudi Arabia say they have been abused and treated Ďlike animalsí by Saudi authorities.
Thirty Filipino workers, who returned to Manila on Monday, revealed details of their ordeal during their stay in Saudi Arabia.
ďThey treated us like animals,Ē said 46-year-old domestic helper Amor Roxas.
Saudi police rounded up the workers in a crowded cell for four days before they were allowed to return home, Roxas stated.
Yvonne Montefeo, another worker, said, ďOur feet were chained.Ē
According to Migrante International, a support group for overseas Filipino workers, the immigrants were among an estimated 6,700 Filipinos stranded in parts of Saudi Arabia for the lack of documents.
The group warned that the Filipinos ďare in danger of being violently dispersed, arrested and detained by Saudi authorities.Ē
About a tenth of the population of the Philippines live and work abroad, mostly as unskilled laborers or maids, and they are prone to abuse.
The Filipinos are among tens of thousands of mostly Asian unskilled workers likely to be expelled, Migrante International said.
Expatriates account for around nine million of Saudi Arabiaís population of 28 million.
The Saudi government launched a crackdown on illegal workers early this year. Riyadh offered amnesty to allow the workers to legalize their stay.
Thousands of illegal foreigners, mostly from Asia, have begun to leave Saudi Arabia before an amnesty expires on Sunday as they risk being fined or even jailed.