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International relations

Kuwait-bound Filipino migrants left stranded by entry ban

Two countries have clashed over how to address incidents of worker abuse

Filipino Workers submit documents after arriving at Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport from Kuwait, following a call for them to evacuate after a Filipina domestic helper was found dead in a freezer in February 2018.   © Reuters

MANILA -- Irene Micabelo is one of thousands of Filipinos stuck at home since Kuwait imposed an entry ban on workers from the Philippines on May 10, escalating a long-simmering diplomatic feud between the two countries.

She is waiting with her bags packed for a chance to take up a job as a kitchen helper in Kuwait, where she can earn higher wages than at home, and has already paid around $390 to a recruitment agency for help finding the job. She has now spent much of her savings and is eager to get to work.

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