Community Helps Migrant Workers Through Abusive Conditions

Aurea Perlas fell ill from being overworked; it took three months for her to get back on her feet. The single mother says she was not in a position to stand her ground with her employer and refuse the long hours he demanded; she needs work to support her two children, she says.

Ms. Perlas is one of tens of thousands of migrant workers in Jordan facing harsh working conditions despite the country’s labor laws, which are often ignored.

She joins other migrant workers in receiving support in her trials from the Teresian Association, a Catholic community of lay people committed to contributing to human and social transformation. The association runs a program for migrant workers in Amman, the country’s capital, at a center sponsored by CNEWA-Pontifical Mission.

“The Filipino workers here are facing problems of abuse of time, abuse of working hours, abuse of delayed salary, abuse of too much work for one person,” says Amabel Sibug, a member of the association.

With overwork, workers are “not given the space” to rest and care for themselves, which leads to illness, she explains.

The support offered by the Teresian Association is varied and wide-ranging, from simple social gatherings to assistance with health issues and securing a proper worker’s permit. The Teresians also provide catechesis and faith formation for the workers and their children.

Hear Ms. Perlas and Ms. Sibug speak about their experiences firsthand in the video below by Lebanese journalist Raghida Skaff.

Then, read more about the challenges of migrant workers and the apostolate of the Teresian Association among them in “Far From Home” in the March 2023 edition of ONE.

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