The Philippine government has warned minors not to fall victim to illegal recruiters who falsify travel documents and promise employment abroad.
According to the Bureau of Immigration, more than 28,000 Filipinos fell victim to human trafficking after being recruited illegally and were barred from leaving the Philippines last year. About 150 of the victims were minors, GMA News reported.
One of the victims, 16-year-old Fatima, said she was promised a job as a domestic worker in Saudi Arabia with a monthly salary of PHP30,000 (US$573). When the young Filipina was about to head to Saudi Arabia, she was stopped by immigration officers after it was discovered her travel documents were fake.
She said her recruiters also took her to a safe house where she was trained on how to act and speak to hide her real age from authorities.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration reminded aspiring Filipino migrant workers that the minimum age for Filipinos to work as domestic workers abroad was 23. Filipino migrant workers were reminded to look for employment at recruitment agencies that are accredited by the POEA.