The Philippine government has imposed a ban on workers being sent to the Federated States of Micronesia due to reports of Filipinos being abused in the Micronesian islands.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said that newly-hired and returning Filipino workers would not be deployed to Micronesia. It said the order was recommended by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) because of reports of Filipino workers being abused, Philippine News Agency reported.

“The DFA strongly recommends the total ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to the Federated States of Micronesia unless it settles the unresolved cases and improves the working condition of overseas Filipino workers,” POEA said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs received reports in June 2017 of Filipino medical workers being maltreated and abused in Chuuk State Hospital, which was blacklisted from employing Filipinos. There were also reports of contract violations, harassment and discrimination.

The Federated States of Micronesia is a group of 607 islands in the Western Pacific. It is an independent sovereign island nation and a United States associated state that consists of four areas – Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae – and is about 4,000 kilometers southwest of Hawaii. Micronesia is known for its marine activities such as diving, snorkelling, fishing, surfing and also nature activities.

According to data from the Philippine government, there are more than 2,000 Filipinos working and living in Micronesia.