Six Filipinos rescued from human trafficking in Syria return to PH

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Six Filipino women who were trafficked or illegally hired in Syria were brought home to the Philippines on Saturday, the Department of Foreign Affairs said. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 6) — Six Filipino women who were trafficked or illegally hired in Syria were brought home to the Philippines on Saturday, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

DFA Undersecretary Sarah Arriola told CNN Philippines, the evacuees returned Saturday afternoon and were given financial aid. The department said this is the first batch flown back out of 38 Filipinos who stayed at a shelter in Damascus after leaving their employers over "harsh working conditions."

"The victims have prepared their complaint-affidavits at the shelter in Damascus with the assistance of the Philippine Embassy," said the DFA in another statement. "The Department lobbied hard with the Syrian authorities and employers to secure exit clearances for the repatriates."

The department said the Filipinos were illegally recruited to work in Syria while they were tourists in Dubai. The DFA assured that it is giving the victims legal assistance in their court cases as well as arranging immigration requirements for their companions still in the Middle Eastern country.