MANILA - “Immunity & Impunity: How Diplomats Get Away with Exploiting Domestic Workers” is a multi-country, multimedia investigative series that examines how diplomats exploit their foreign domestic workers and escape prosecution because of diplomatic immunity. It also reveals the complicity of sending countries in protecting diplomats implicated in domestic trafficking and exploitation.

Foreign diplomats and employees of international organizations are getting away with exploiting their domestic workers because of their diplomatic immunity status. Under the Vienna Convention, diplomatic immunity protects diplomats and employees of international organizations from being sued, arrested, or detained while in their receiving country.

In addition to field reporting across Europe and the Philippines, the report series will use digital forensics and open-source intelligence techniques to gather open-source data and expose the extent of exploitation of household domestic staff.


The project Diplomatic Immunity & Impunity is a regional/local finalist in the Carlos Tejada Award for Excellence in Investigative Reporting category as part of the SOPA Awards 2024. The awards ceremony will take place on 20 June 2024. The series exposes how erring diplomats have been able to exploit their migrant domestic workers and have gotten away with it for decades due to a privilege called diplomatic immunity.

Photo credit: Nicolas Dupraz/Al Jazeera

Team members

Ana P. Santos

Ana P. Santos is filipino investigative journalist based in Berlin.

Ana P. Santos

Michelle Abad

Michelle Abad is a multimedia reporter at Rappler. (Manila)

Michelle Abad

Pauline Macaraeg

Pauline Macaraeg is a digital forensics researcher for Rappler. 

Pauline Macaraeg

Sylke Gruhnwald

Sylke Gruhnwald is editor-in-chief of the Swiss magazine Republik.

Crina Boros

Crina Boros is a London-based freelance data-driven investigative reporter and trainer.

Crina Boros

need resources for your own investigative story?

Journalismfund Europe's flexible grants programmes enable journalists to produce relevant public interest stories with a European mind-set from international, national, and regional perspectives.


support independent cross-border investigative journalism

We rely on your support to continue the work that we do. Make a gift of any amount today.