Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Solidarity Statement to KGS from Austria

Statement of Solidarity
Vienna, Austria
20 August 2009


We at PINAS FIRST* in Austria condemn the unwarranted police raid of the Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan (KGS) safe house last Friday, 14th August, 2009.

We decry this unjustifiable crackdown as the KGS is an established legitimate organization committed to augmenting government efforts to provide temporary refuge, counselling on rights and welfare, and other forms of assistance to distressed and runaway OFWs who number in the
thousands in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia alone. The KGS has never been involved with any illegal or criminal activities.

We demand that the Saudi government immediate release the KGS officers/members/service workers and distressed OFWs apprehended during the raid to the custody of the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh (and to immediately return any seized items of the KGS.))

We demand that the Philippine government work out with host countries a comprehensive program to support and protect the rights and welfare of OFWs. It should export labour only in countries where democracy and freedom are respected and the rights of every citizen are guaranteed.

It should demand assurance that citizens and legitimate organizations like the KGS:

  • - be free to perform their work and

  • - have access to avenues for complaints against the police in the manner envisaged by article 2 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, where the government is obliged to ensure that the victim has an "effective" remedy determined by "competent" judicial, administrative or legislative authorities.
We demand that the Philippine government examine the economic and social aspects of its labour export policy. It is high time the government implement genuine industrialization and land reform that will generate jobs for the Filipinos in their own country.

* Pinoy in Austrian Society For Integrity, Reforms and Social Transformation

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