Baghdad in Iraq, where some Filipinos have been sent to work illegally. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Philippine government has warned jobseekers about human trafficking syndicates in Dubai which illegally send workers to Iraq. In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the warning was issued after the Philippine embassy in Baghdad rescued two Filipinas from the southern province of Basra with the help of a local anti-human trafficking group.

The DFA said trafficking syndicates have been luring people by offering to advance the cost of their travel to Dubai where high-paying jobs were supposed to be waiting for them.

Workers enter Dubai on tourist visas and are made to work without pay. which is supposedly part of their “training.” When their visas are about to expire, they are told to accept jobs in Iraq or pay the syndicates US$3,000, the cost of their deployment.

“The victims are trafficked through Erbil in the Kurdistan region of Iraq and then smuggled to Baghdad or Basra,” the DFA said.

The DFA reminded Filipino jobseekers that there was a labor deployment ban in effect for Iraq and they are not allowed to enter Iraq without visas.

If caught, they face imprisonment and penalties. Filipino are advised to check job offers with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration if they want to work abroad.