During the upraising and civil war in Syria in 2011 to 2012, up to 1,800 overseas Filipino workers who were in Syria returned back home to the Philippines.
According to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking, up to 80 percent of these workers were in Syria as human trafficking victims. The workers were illegally recruited by employment agencies and many of the victims were between 13 and 18 years old.
The illegal recruitment agencies in the Philippines earn an estimated $37 Million a year from their labor trafficking schemes.
Source: Ayan Mellejor and Judy Quiros, “Rampant trafficking of OFWs in Syria uncovered,” Inquirer, September 9, 2012.