Karl Frederick Anderson is an American owner of a record label situated in California, USA. However, what he is currently doing is far from his field of expertise. In the last four years, he has been helping Overseas Filipino Workers in Saudi Arabia who are experiencing cruelty from their employers.
It all began when a Filipina he knew suffered from physical abuse in Saudi. Since then, it became his mission to help those who are in the same circumstance.
“After I rescued the first worker, another one was referred to me and another,” Anderson shared via email. “There are now approximately 40 workers in two groups handling cases and well over 500 people that have been helped,” the American said.
Anderson has put up a Facebook page called, “Filipino Domestic Worker Abuse in Saudi Arabia.” There, OFWs who are experiencing mistreatment can reach him.
The aim of the page is to:
“Create awareness of a serious problem of abuse and human trafficking of Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia and offer contacts to those who are being abused.”
“I receive requests about abused workers daily. There is not a day that goes by that we are not working on a case or having inquiries about helping abused workers,” Karl shared.
He suggested that the only way to put the abuse to an end is to stop sending Filipino workers to Saudi. Anderson even called the treatment to Filipinos as ‘cultural’ in the foreign country.
The usual cases reported to Anderson are sexual and physical abuse.
“Many workers are sexually abused or raped by their employers. Sometimes it will be the son who is the sexual abuser, not the baba. Most of the physical abuse and beating are done, on the other hand, by the madam,” Anderson said.
Through the years he had witnessed Filipinos who experienced beating in different ways. There are those who had been struck with an electrical cord, stick, and black rope which is used to tie men’s headdresses. Others have even experienced getting pushed down the stairs and having their skin scorched with a burning iron.
A lot do not receive their salary for months. There are also employers who make it impossible for OFWs to escape.
“When they turn themselves in, they may find that the employer has placed a huroob on their iqama as a runaway to block them from going home. It is also not uncommon for a worker to have false charges placed against them to make it difficult for them to leave,” Karl explained.
However, the American is glad that Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) is taking action on these cases. Still, he doesn’t find it enough because as long as more Filipinos are sent to Saudi Arabia, the pattern of abuse will only repeat itself.
Netizens agree with Anderson’s proposed solution. Check out what some of them said:
They admired him for having the heart to help people who came from a different nation.
What can you say about this kindhearted foreigner? How about his willingness to help? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
source: GMA News