Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Photo: Wikimedia Commons, haitham alfalah

A Roman Catholic bishop has raised concerns about reports of “maid auctions” and abuse of Filipino domestic workers in Saudi Arabia.

Bishop Ruperto C Santos, a member of the Episcopal Commission on the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, said the situation faced by many Filipino domestic workers was unacceptable and inhuman, the Manila Bulletin reported.

“Our overseas Filipino workers are not objects [or] commodities. They are neither tools for profit nor for pleasure. They are people with rights and dignity which should be respected and defended,” Santos said.

He urged the Philippine government to probe the reported abuses and said the perpetrators should be severely punished.

“It is high time to discuss and decide also for a deployment ban of OFWs in Saudi Arabia,” he said.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the government was considering a ban on deployment of Filipino workers to Saudi Arabia after receiving reports of domestic workers being traded illegally through so-called maid auctions.

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