VICE President Jejomar Binay on Sunday called on the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Philippine Embassy in Denmark to investigate reported maltreatment of au pairs in the country. He made the appeal after the Au Pair Network of the Danish labor union, Fag og Arbejde (FOA), revealed that nine out of 10 au pairs in Denmark who reported abuse from their host families in Denmark are Filipinos. “Au pair” is a French term that means “on par” or “equal to.” Filipinos under the au pair program “live on an equal basis in a reciprocal, caring relationship” with their host families. In return, they are supposed to perform household chores for their hosts. The Philippines stopped sending au pairs to Europe in 1997 on reports of maltreatment including unfair compensation, excessive working hours, discrimination and sexual assault. The ban was lifted in October 2010.