While reading this sad story about an Indian contractor working for the US military injured in Iraq, I noticed that India has told its citizens not to work in Iraq since 2004, when three Indian contractors were kidnapped. But what can a country do prevent its citizens taking work in dangerous locations that pays better than jobs at home?
The Philippines knows how. Since 2004, it has put stamps in new passports saying they are not valid for travel to Iraq. This isn’t the first time the Philippines has pulled this: in the late 1980s and early 1990s, passports were stamped with limitations prohibiting travel to South Africa (because of apartheid) and Lebanon (because of the civil war).
Contracting firms in Iraq still employ Filipino workers — as long as they have old passports without the stamps.