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Philippines officials look to lift ban on au pair options for certain European destinations

September 14, 2011

Filipino officials are considering allowing citizens of the Philippines to travel to certain European countries to work as au pairs once more. The government stopped allowing Filipino au pairs to leave the country for work in 1997, after reports of maltreatment, according to ABC-CBS News.

"We are in the process of reviewing the au pair program in order to facilitate proper guidelines and policies on departure and monitoring," Vice president Jejomar Binay told the news source.

Au pairs are meant to live with a host family and help out with the kids and a little bit of housework in return for free housing and a small stipend. In an ideal scenario, the au pair becomes more a member of the family than a domestic servant, but many were being overworked, underpaid, and treated very poorly.

Last year, the ban was lifted for au pairs to go to Switzerland, Norway and Denmark when the nations agreed to protect the rights of au pairs from the Philippines, and many hope that agreements will be reached with other countries so Filipino au pairs have more options and opportunities for international work.

While they are abroad, au pairs can use calling cards to make calls to the Philippines and share their experiences with their loved ones. 

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