Iraq, one of the 24 countries where Filipinos are officially banned from working. Photo: iStock

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has listed 24 countries where deployment of new overseas Filipino workers (OFW) is prohibited for 2018 – mainly to ensure their safety.

The Overseas Employment office released an advisory last month listing the countries and detailing the bans on hiring new workers from the Philippines – due largely to the lack of peace and order in those states, plus economic instability.

The countries where Filipinos are totally banned due to unstable security are Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan (except Khartoum and the Kenana Sugar Plantation in the White Nile), the Great Lakes Region (Rwanda and Burundi) in central Africa, plus Iraq, Syria, Yemen in the Middle East and Chechnya.

South Sudan, Libya and Ukraine were put under “Alert Level 2”, which only allows OFWs who have existing contracts to return to the host country.

Palau was listed – specifically to ban household service workers – because of poor work conditions and the local economic situation.

Some 12 countries which are not certified by the Department of Foreign Affairs were also listed. They are Afghanistan, Chad, Cuba, North Korea, Haiti, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Palestine, Somalia, Zimbabwe and South Sudan.

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