Pak diplomats in Geneva face rights abuse charges

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The Swissinfo reported that Pakistani officials misused the legitimation card, a special card that diplomats give to their employees and that is issued by the Swiss mission. The officials forced them to agree to work more than 10 hours a week without any compensation

Pakistani embassy diplomats in Geneva have been accused of not paying six Filipino workers for more than 20 years, Swissinfo reported.

These workers accuse the Pakistani mission of violating an assurance. As per the deal, they are eligible to get a proper wage, accommodation and social security.

The Swissinfo reported that Pakistani officials misused the legitimation card, a special card that diplomats give to their employees and that is issued by the Swiss mission. The officials forced them to agree to work more than 10 hours a week without any compensation.

They had to work for other people also to make enough money to survive in a city like Geneva.

A formal complaint has been filed at the Geneva Public Prosecutor’s Office with the assistance from Inter-professional Trade Union.

“For decades, these domestic workers have been silenced by their fear of losing their residence status,” Mirella Falco, head of the SIT workers union, told Swissinfo. “If they are dismissed, they have two months to find another diplomatic employer. If not, they have no choice but to leave or go underground.”

Employees have petitioned Switzerland’s Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter and Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis through SIT. In their letter, they expressed their displeasure with the atrocities they had endured and requested the support from Switzerland.

The union is encouraging the government to take steps to put a halt to these abuses, including tightening the regulations governing working conditions and residence permits in the diplomatic community.