The Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has released a statement, warning Filipinos against taking jobs in Russia being offered by illegal recruiters. In the statement, the DFA highlighted how, since the beginning of this year alone, the Philippine Embassy in Moscow has repatriated eight Filipinos who had fallen victim to illegal recruiters.

Ambassador Carlos Sorreta said the majority of the Filipinos in Russia who seek help to return home to the Philippines were illegally recruited and did not undergo proper procedures prior to their employment in Russia.

“Filipinos who continue to stay in Russia without a valid visa are in an unsafe situation that is further fueled by fear. There is the fear of being arrested and not being able to communicate with Russian police authorities due to the language barrier,” Sorreta said.

Sorreta added that Filipinos who are undocumented and recruited illegally are deprived of basic services such as access to public health services as well as certain modes of transportation.

The Philippine Embassy continues to warn Filipino jobseekers to avoid accepting job offers that has no legal contract and does not go through proper employment procedures. The Embassy said Filipinos could be put at risk of being overworked, unable to retrieve unpaid salaries and unable to get proper work visa support from their employer.

“Illegal recruitment is a serious issue that creates a high-risk environment where Filipino workers are vulnerable and in danger of becoming victims of abuse,” the DFA said.