Migrante International expresses its warmest sympathy to the family of Henry Acorda as they grieve for the loss of their beloved kin. OFWs around the world and their families here at the home front are one with his family and friends in paying tribute to the courage he displayed in defending his fellow Filipino overseas worker. We are on the family’s side in their quest for justice.
Henry Acorda, is an OFW in Slovakia who had been badly beaten on May 26 by a Slovak citizen for defending his friend from sexual harassment. In a CCTV footage, his perpetrator, Juraj Hossu, was seen stepping on his chest and taking photos of him while he is lying unconscious on the sidewalk. Henry died five days after the incident due to severe head injuries. It was later discovered that Hossu is a white supremacist. Slovaks identified him as a supporter of the far right movement in Slovakia.
We are deeply appalled by the fact that xenophobia is already claiming the lives of our compatriots abroad. Hate crimes like this must be given the fullest attention by the government. Juraj Hossu must be put to justice.
Filipino migrants are extremely vulnerable to racism and hate crimes. Economic declensions in host countries and its resultant social discontent among its people has made the migrant workers soft targets of racism and hate. In countries like Slovakia and the US where beliefs about “migrant workers robbing the locals of their jobs and welfare” are tolerated, if not actually nurtured by the government and in the absence of genuine protection mechanism on migrant workers by labor-exporting countries like the Philippines, many Henry Acordas live in continual danger.
We are calling on President Duterte to ensure the delivery of immediate justice for Henry Acorda. Further, as the toll of OFW deaths due to hate crimes and abuse continue to rise, the Duterte regime, at this time, should have crafted a comprehensive protection mechanism for them. We must not allow this generation of injustice and sorrow to continue. The labor export program, the plague that causes deaths and danger to our OFWs, the same program that puts profit over the rights and welfare of our OFWs should be scrapped.###