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The CAMELEON Association mobilizes and calls on the public’s support to bring this mistreatment to an end !
Melirose, 25 years old, is just one more victim, one victim too many! She is the sister of one of CAMELEON’s beneficiaries, herself a victim of rape. I promised them to do everything that I could to help them so that the atrocity experienced by Melirose does not remain an isolated case, unpunished. It is imperative that we alert the international community and the Philippine authorities of what is happening in certain Gulf Coast countries and Asia. Mistreatment, torture, rape, modern slavery, and homicide are daily realities for domestic workers.
For this to stop and for Melirose to benefit from medical and legal assistance,
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>> A video from Philippine TV channels ABS CBN news in Kuwait
shows Melirose laying on the ground and later in the hospital <<
Read the 2 articles from Paris Match :
Une domestique philippine défenestrée par son employeur
Philippines, l’avenir au bout du chiffon
« One of the young Cameleon beneficiaries, a member of the CAMELEON community for the past ten years, recently learned that her older sister, Melirose Balagosa, a 25 year old single mother and domestic worker in Kuwait for the past year, had been thrown out the window by her employer on October 6th 2015. Melirose miraculously survived a fall from the fourth floor, sustaining multiple fractures and a great deal of shock. A friend of hers witnessed the scene firsthand and she took photos as police rushed Melirose to the urgent care at Mubarak Al Kabir Hospital (Kuwait). Initial exams verified that the brain and spine had not been injured. Melirose underwent surgery on her jaw and will require many more operations to repair her many fractures in her legs, knees, etc. We have no further updates on her current state.
Melirose’s family, originally from San Enrique, Iloilo—home of the Cameleon headquarters— learned of the news Wednesday night. They are asking that everything be done to bring their daughter medical care and legal assistance so that a case can be opened and justice found. The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait, the Philippine Council in Kuwait (Raul DADO)—both deeply invested in cases of mistreatment—as well as the agency that originally placed Melirose with her employer, are all mobilizing to help her. L’OWWA (Over Sea Worker Administration) and Vice President Binay have also promised to aid her family. As of now, I have no further information.
This terrible accident is sadly all too common in Gulf countries, where thousands of domestic workers (OFW: Filipino Over sea Workers) are placed by costly, questionable agencies with employers who mistreat and exploit them. These are concrete examples of modern slavery that must be put to an end before the worst happens—rape, torture, throwing out of windows, and murders.
This is not the first case to have been brought to my attention. Five years ago, the mother of a young woman came to Paris seeking my help. Her 34 year old daughter, a domestic worker in Abu Dhabi married with two children in the Philippines, had been thrown from the 8th floor by her employer. She did not survive the accident. The official investigation and autopsy in Abu Dhabi concluded that her death was a suicide attempt. However, with the help of her family and the Hiligaynon Association (a Philippian association located in France), we were able to regain the rights to her body and bring her back to the Philippines for a second autopsy, the results of which revealed multiple knife wounds even before she was thrown out the window. Since this discovery, her employer was stopped.
This year, I was involved in another case of physical abuse in Lebanon (Beirut) concerning one of our past beneficiaries, a young girl who had been a victim of incest in the Philippines. Her Lebanese employer hit her in the face and threatened to kill her. She locked herself in the bathroom for two days, communicating with me using her cell phone which she used to send me photos of the situation. Following my advice, she was able to save herself by jumping into a taxi that took her to the Philippine Embassy. More than 60 other young Philippian women were already there and they had experienced similar cases of physical mistreatment and attempts of rape and even murder. After 5 months of fighting, this young woman was able to return safe and sound to the Philippines.
Sadly, these sobering stories are a daily reality for thousands of young Philippian women in Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Libya, Iraq, etc. Each day, 6,000 Philippians leave their country to work in foreign countries, often in deplorable conditions characterized by exploitation and mistreatment. »
Laurence Ligier, Fondatrice
01 43 22 35 92
>> Read studies about this subject from Human Rights Watch 2014 – Émirats arabes unis : Prises au piège, exploitées et maltraitées
>> Key facts 2014 OFW