HRW calls for protection of migrant workers in Middle East

A Press Release – Published on MSNnews, by Human Rights Watch HRW, Nov. 16, 2010.

Colombo, Nov 16 (PTI) Following a series of complaints from Sri Lankan housemaids of torture by their employers, the New York-based Human Rights Watch has asked Middle Eastern states to take steps to protect migrant workers.

At least three Sri Lankan maids have complained recently that either they were forced to swallow nails or had them driven into them by their employers.

“The wanton brutality alleged in these cases is shocking, but reports of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and labour exploitation such as nonpayment of wages are nothing new,” Nisha Varia, HRW’’s senior wome’’s rights researcher said.

“The governments of Jordan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia need to show that they take such allegations seriously, and create accessible ways for domestic workers to report abuse as soon as it happens, instead of having to wait until they return home.”

Meanwhile, Doctors at Sri Lanka’’s Kurunegala hospital have removed all the metal nails inserted into the body of a Sri Lankan housemaid allegedly by her employer in Kuwait … //

… In August, another housemaid complained that her Saudi employer drove 24 nails into her arms, legs and forehead as punishment.

Most of them were removed by surgeons at a hospital.

Some 1.8 million Sri Lankans are employed abroad, of whom 70 per cent are women. Most of them work as housemaids in the Middle East. (full text).


Immigrant worker abuse in Middle East condemned by human rights group, November 20, 2010;

The Left’s delusion over Islam is baffling to Middle Eastern Christians, by Ed West, November 17, 2010;

Human Rights in the Middle East – The Shirley and Leonard Goldstein Lecture on Human Rights University of Nebraska at Omaha, by Robert L. Bernstein, November 10, 2010.

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