Spotlight On: Meet Ana from FDWA-UK- Filipino Domestic Workers Association: UK: she says:
‘This group is a volunteer-run, grassroots organisation of migrant domestic workers already in the UK which aims to support, uphold and campaign for the rights, welfare and dignity of migrant domestic workers. Behind the closed doors of big houses in London, there are domestic servants, slaves in fact- people whose human rights have been taken. The Guardian article below well-explains why the organisation is desperately needed by a particular group of very vulnerable domestic workers.
‘Unfortunately, the hostile environment that is the UK immigration system does not recognise risk where it exists, and many rescued domestic slaves are not accepted as people who at risk of trafficking, or modern slavery. They end up being undocumented in UK, without legitimate access to food, housing or healthcare, and for example, subjected to the ravages of covid. That is why we have joine4d the StatusNow4All campaign. These people need Indefinite Leave to Remain so that they feel they can safely make themselves known to the Home Office without fear of deportation.’
Analiza Guevarra ended up in a living hell in London after fleeing poverty in the Philippines. Now, her organisation rescues scores of people in domestic servitude every yearRights and freedom is supported by
The streets of west London were dark and empty as Analiza Guevarra walked towards a large, white mansion block in South Kensington in February 2019.
Just after 5am, she stood at a corner, well away from any street lights. “I’m here,” she tapped into her phone. Seconds later, her phone pinged back. “I’m coming, I’m carrying a green bag. Please wait for me.”
Guevarra squinted down the gloomy street until she saw a woman emerge from one of the buildings clutching a holdall. She beckoned to her. The woman, panting with fear, slid up the icy street towards her. When she got close, Guevarra grabbed her hand and told her to run.
When they arrived at the nearest underground station, Guevarra turned towards her companion. “She kept looking around to see if she was being followed,” she says. “But I was telling her: ‘You’re safe now.’”
The woman was Gloria, a Filipino domestic worker who had been brought to London by a wealthy Qatari family and exploited and abused. Gloria had posted frantic calls for help on a Facebook message board and the Filipino Domestic Workers Association (FDWA) had responded. This small but very busy organisation, which operates from a church in south London, has rescued hundreds of women from domestic servitude behind the closed doors of London’s most exclusive neighbourhoods.