Indians exploited in Gulf countries

We keep hearing of Indian workers being exploited and suffering in the gulf countries. There are two recent cases this year. One latest case is that of a young woman from Hyderabad, who was exploited her employers in Oman, and the other incident happened in Sharjah, where a maid fell to her death from the 10th floor of a high-rise residential building. The Sharjah police are investigating the case, and as for the Oman case, the woman returned home, but one does not know whether her employer will be punished.

Oman’s domestic worker regulations, are terrible and there are no penalties for employers, however badly they behave, and it is one country in the Gulf which does not to provide labor rights in law.

Workers in the Gulf countries (and a significant number of them are Indian), are exploited from the word go, because horribly enough the laws of the land allow it:

All foreign workers in the Gulf fall under the kafala, a visa-sponsorship system which does not allow them to leave or change employers without their initial employer’s consent. If they do, they can be arrested and punished for “absconding,” with fines, detention and deportation.

Sexual harassment, slavery, starvation and imprisonment is quite common.

This article in First Post states that “87% complaints of exploitation received from Indian workers are from Gulf countries.” with nearly half of those from Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

In the light of all this I was taken aback to read this article in aljazeera (a news channel run by the Qatar government) that exploitation of children in India has something to do with caste and religion.

There is a lot of child abuse and exploitation in India, but it is to do with poverty, not religion or caste. And thank god, our constitution protects our workers (we have labour laws) and our children (there are laws against child labour) and our girls. We protect foreigners too, the ones who live and work in our country. The criminals slip through the net more often than not, and the abuse goes on relentlessly, but at least it is not condoned by the law.

Fake news is one of the greatest evils out there. It is not only aljazeera which is dishing out fake news, but there is media in our country too, and media in all democratic countries. I will write a series of separate posts on this, by and by.

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