Monday, 24 April 2017


No death penalty for resisting rape!
No devastating 'Blood Money' for Self Defence!
Free Jennifer Dalquez!

A petition from thousands of people to the ruler of the  United Arab Emirates urging him to pardon Jennifer Dalquez and repatriate her to her family in the Philippines will be handed in to the UAE Embassy on Tuesday 25th April at 6.30pm at a candlelight vigil. 

The petitioners include not only Jennifer's parents but representatives of  Justice 4 Domestic Workers a campaigning group calling for justice and rights for sixteen thousand foreign domestic workers in UK, Freedom Without Fear Platform a feminist organisation for women of colour based in the UK and Justice Upheld an independent campaign team of lawyers and activists, working for the protection and furtherance of Human Rights. 
Other signatories to the petition are major women's organisations from across the world including the London Black Women's Project and Southall Black Sisters from UK and the All India Progressive Women's Association. Fiona Mactaggart MP has tabled a question about this gross violation of Human Rights in the UK Parliament and Lord Indarjit Singh has intervened with the UAE government urging that the charges are dropped and Jennifer repatriated. 
Jennifer's case is also being taken up at the UN as a violation of Human Rights and violence against women.
The facts of Jennifer Dalquez's case 
On 7th December 2014, a few weeks before she was due to return to the Philippines, Jennifer Dalquez's employer in Abu Dhabi, UAE, tried to rape her at knife point. She fought back and in the struggle which ensued her assailant was killed. 
Leading up to this incident her employer had subjected her to daily sexual harassment, psychological intimidation, molestation and physical violence. Her arms had signs of abuse, including bruises and cigarette burns. His attempt to rape her was clearly premeditated. He was aware that she was going to back to the Philippines in January 2015.
Jennifer had been given the death penalty for resisting rape despite her plea of self-defence. 

Abu Dhabi Court adjourns the case twice!
According to Abu Dhabi law, the children of the man Dalquez is said to have murdered are  asked to swear 50 times to Allah, before the court, that this is the person who killed their father. If they do, Dalquez will be given a death sentence and then executed not long afterward. If they refuse to swear in this way, or do not come to Court at all, she will be asked to pay blood money, or diya, (essentially an out of court settlement) of 200,000 dirhams (approximately $50,000). Clearly $50,000 is well beyond the reach of Jennifer and her parents, Rajima Dalquez and Abdulhamid Dalquez who are from a poor area of General Santos City in the Philippines. Jennifer had, after all, been working as a domestic worker in Abu Dhabi since 2011 to support them and her two young sons.  The case first came to Court on 27th March but one of the two children of the man Jennifer is said to have killed did not appear, it was then adjourned to 12th April when neither child appeared. It is now due to come up again on 26th April. 

Justice for Domestic Workers have also urged President Duterte of the Phillipines to ask for clemency for Jennifer – but so far he has not responded, despite the fact that migrant domestic workers remittances are an important factor in shoring up the Philippines economy. There is also an online petition to President Duterte, urging him to ask for Jennifer to be pardoned and repatriated to the Philippines. 
Marissa Begonia a key organiser at Justice for Domestic Workers spoke out about the horrors of domestic work in the UAE: "As a migrant domestic worker, I experienced the same sexual harassment as Jennifer. That was the horror of my life I could never forget. I thought of screaming for help but no one could hear me, I thought of jumping out the window but the building was too high for sure I would die. I was left with no option but to protect and defend myself. We work in a very isolated work place in a foreign land where most employers treat us like they own us, and do anything they want to do to us. But we are mothers who dreamed for a better life and future for our children. It is sad that in our modern world, migrant domestic workers are still the most abused and exploited group of workers because of the absence of labour rights and human rights in many countries like the UAE". 

In the UAE most of the manual and blue collar work is done by migrant workers. There are about 146,000 female migrant domestic workers, many of whom are from the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Ethiopia. The Human Rights Watch report “‘I Already Bought You’: Abuse and Exploitation of Female Migrant Domestic Workers in the United Arab Emirates,” documents how the UAE’s visa sponsorship system, known as kafala, and the lack of labour law protections leave migrant domestic workers exposed to abuse. The UAE, which has two seats on the International Labour Organisation board of directors, has reformed some aspects of the kafala system in recent years, but not for domestic workers.

Details from: Freedom Without Fear Platform, Justice for Domestic Workers:, Justice Upheld email: Telephone number: 020 8090 4001 WhatsApp: +44 7742 577854

No comments:

Post a Comment