When the mutilated body of a Filipino maid, Joanna Demafelis, was found inside the freezer of an abandoned apartment, in February 2018, it sparked a huge outrage and led to the Philippines banning their citizens from working in Kuwait.
When the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, banned workers, around 250,000 Filipinos in Kuwait were left out of a job. A whopping 65 percent of them being domestic workers and many of them were employed in commercial businesses, reports News.com.au.
In fact, there are 100 million Filipinos living in more than 200 countries trying to earn and living to send money back home. In 2016, they sent back a cumulative of more than $40 billion dollars – that's 10 percent of the country's GDP.
Things got pretty heated between the Kuwait government and the Philippines Labor Secretary, Silvestre Bello, but after some back and forth, the President of the Philippines ordered the "total lifting of the ban," saying that he deemed it safe and that there would hopefully be no more incidents of maltreatment, reports Gulf Today.
As of Tuesday, workers will be allowed to return to Kuwait.
Demafelis' employers, Nader Essam Assaf (from Lebanon) and his wife, Mona Hassoun (from Syria), fled Kuwait and were later found hiding in Syria. They have now been sentenced to death. Justice does prevail after all.