Basra, Iraq. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A Filipino woman who was trafficked into Iraq and was allegedly abused by her employer has been rescued and will return home to the Philippines later today.

The Philippine embassy in Iraq said in a statement that Joyce (not her real name) was promised a job in Dubai in July last year, but ended up in Iraq on a visa that only entitled her to travel to the Kurdistan region. Because of this, the Filipina was transferred from vehicle to vehicle by traffickers five times during a road trip from Erbil to Basra to avoid the authorities.

In October, Joyce managed to escape from the employer who had maltreated her, and sought help from the embassy, where she also took shelter.

The embassy said Joyce was among 22 victims of human trafficking who were set to return to the Philippines last December; however she was detained at the airport after her employer in Basra filed a case against her. She has now been released and later today will be on a flight home to the Philippines.

“We thank everyone, especially our dear friends in Basra, for sorting things out with prison officials and helping us send our compatriot back home,” the embassy said.

“To those who are eyeing jobs in Dubai with shady details, may this story serve as a warning to always be careful. If the offer is too good to be true, it is not true,” the embassy statement said.

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