After a string of deaths and reported abuses of Filipino domestic workers by Kuwaiti employers, Philippine and Kuwaiti officials signed a memorandum of agreement, Friday, May 11.

The MOA outlines several directives to improve working conditions of overseas Filipino workers.

It bars Kuwaiti employers from confiscating Filipino workers’ passports and other travel documents.

Additionally Filipino workers must be allowed to use their cell phones.

Finally, a 24/7 hotline for distressed workers in need of help will be set up; and the creation of a special police unit to assist the Philippine embassy in rescue operations.

Rappler also reported the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration found 196 deaths of Filipino workers in Kuwait since 2016.

This is in addition to 6,000 reports of abuse, sexual harassment and rape filed with the Philippine embassy by Filipino workers in 2017.