Amid increasing complaints from individuals deported from Sabah, the Gabriela Women’s Party solons called on the members of the House of Representatives to look into the alleged human rights violations committed against Filipinos during their detention in and deportation from Malaysia, following their government’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants.
“We should not wait for the abuses to reach epic proportions or for a repeat of the 2002 crackdown on undocumented Filipinos in Malaysia, where 12 children died and dozens of women were raped in detention camps, before we make our move,” Gabriela party-list Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan said.
She also urged her fellow legislators in the Lower House to take up immediate measures to protect undocumented Filipinos, most especially women and children, who face the risk of being detained and abused in Malaysian jails before they are returned to the Philippines.
The lawmaker from Mindanao added that “Malaysia’s reputation as among the world’s top ten worst places for refugees to stay in was confirmed by the cases of denial of food and medical care to deportees while they were in detention camps. There are also the tales of inhumane treatment of a child who acquired injuries during his three-month stay in a detention center and of a woman who gave birth inside a jail.”
As for the Filipinos already deported to the country, Ilagan said that providing them with temporary shelter and transportation allowance is not enough.
“The government should provide the deportees with proper housing and livelihood for them not to be tempted to leave the country again in search of a decent life,” she said.