RABAT - Young women from the Philippines working as housemaids in Morocco on Wednesday described being exploited, physically abused and raped by their employers in the north African kingdom.
"I was confined in the house of this woman, who confiscated my passport. To get it back, she told me that I had to give her $4,000," Analissa Dalambines, a young Filipina, told reporters at a press conference in Rabat.
"I'm ready to give up the job that I've done for two and a half years and return to my country," she said, before shouting, with tears in her eyes: "My employer raped me."
"When I arrived in Morocco, I was hired by a woman who beat me regularly," another women told the conference, convened by the Democratic Organisation of Labour (OTD), weeping as she spoke.
The honorary consul for the Philippines, Porto Joselito, said there are around 3,000 young Filipino housemaids in Morocco.
"Most of them are victims of poor treatment and exploitation, including sexual exploitation," he said.
Marcel Amiyeto, the secretary general of the immigrant workers' section of the ODT, one of Morocco's main trade unions, backed up the claims.
"Some of them have been raped or have been subjected to violence by the women that employ them, others have gone without being paid for more than a year," Amiyeto said.
Social Affairs Minister Bassima Hakkawi was not immediately reachable for comment.
Filipino housemaids in Morocco often have no work contracts and earn less than the minimum wage, of around 240 euros per month.