Exploitation not proven in case of Filipino housekeepers

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PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — An exploitation claim against Filipino women working on St. Maarten was filed on July 20, 2018. These kind of claims are taken seriously and therefore immediate action was taken. Initially there was suspicion of unfair labor practices, however this appeared to be inaccurate.

Based on the desire of the women to return to the Philippines, priority was placed on ensuring their safe return. Their employers were persuaded to purchase the airline tickets. However the women did not accept the airline tickets, because they did not receive an outstanding payment and because they felt they were being exploited.

Their lawyer had in the meantime requested to initiate a criminal investigation. This was carried out and the Public Prosecutor’s Office maintained that no evidence of exploitation was discovered.

Although the women may claim unfair labor practices, their case should not be resolved by penal law, instead their claim against their employers should be taken before a judge in civil court.