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Look who’s complaining

Look who’s complaining

Saudi authorities are mulling a ban on housemaids from certain Asian countries, claiming they are indifferent to the local culture and have been involved in ‘child murders and incidents of violence’. Meanwhile, the number of maids being abused in the Kingdom is growing at an alarming rate.

January 26, 2010 1:47 by

Dharshani’s parents said that they received letters “complaining of ill treatment by the sponsor,” LK Ruhunuge, an SLBFE official, told Arab News. “The maid told her parents she had become sick due to continuous beatings by the sponsor,” he said. “We cannot understand the logic of such treatment since the sponsor also spent a substantial sum to recruit her.”

The SLBFE recorded 330 deaths of Sri Lankan maids in the Middle East in 2009, Ruhunuge told the paper, adding that most of the deaths were not considered homicides. According to the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh, the country’s mission in Saudi Arabia receives about 10 runaway maids a day.

In August 2008, reports claimed that the Nepali government had stopped granting work permits to women to work as housemaids in Saudi Arabia and Malaysia, because of the abuse faced by them in those countries.

This came after Saudi signed a deal with Nepal in February the same year, to directly recruit housemaids from the country. Nepalese housemaids were earlier coming to the Kingdom via India or Bangladesh. The agreement fixed the monthly salary of a Nepalese housemaid at SAR500, and also stated that the maids would be trained before coming to the Kingdom.

“The move comes as an actual implementation of the Saudi national recruitment committee’s strategy that aims at breaking the monopoly of  some countries and also to provide citizens with new options in recruiting housemaids with reasonable wages and recruitment costs,” Sa’ad Bin Nahar Bin Badah, chairman of the Saudi national recruitment committee, said at the time.

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  1. Justice on January 28, 2010 12:08 pm

    Having worked in KSA for seven years (several decades ago) when the population was small and the economy was great, I feel well placed to comment. Even in those days, the abuse of foreign domestic help was absolutely astounding. Apart from the non-stop work schedule of about 14 hours a day (7 days a week), there were well known cases of violence and mistreatment that pushed some of the victims to seek asylum at their respective consulates and embassies. The problem was so alarming, that some consulate buildings resembled make-shift dormitories!?! Although I have not lived there for a number of years, I would be absolutely shocked if anything has changed.

  2. Xavier on February 28, 2010 6:11 am

    Natural born liars are just doing this to cover up their barbaric and inhumane treatment to the poor people whose only aim is to work for their family. Until now their prehistoric attitude of slavery is still existing. A rich country without human heart!


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