It has been reported that 129 women who had been working in different parts of the Saudi Arabia were rescued by the Nepali embassy in Saudi Arabia from the past 3 months. Most of these victims have been subjected to violence and sexual exploitation in one or the other form.
According to sources most of these women had enter the country illegally to work as maids where most of them are under 30. These women have been bound to suffer the torture and exploitation as they have been forced to work with poor food and abused sexually and verbally 24/7. What makes their situation worst is their employers captive them making them go through violence and abuse, slaving them by confiscating their passports and denying them payments or paid them poorly in either case for the hard work done.
With the help of the victims an investigation is going on recording the details of the networks that they came through. In relieve of their pain the victims have been send back to Nepal by the embassy and local Nepali community who have financially aided the effort for their transportation.
In 2012, Nepal government has banned women under the age of 30 years from going to work in the informal sector in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and Qatar.
The human rights of migrants and their families are established under international laws and standards promulgated by the United Nations (UN), International Labour Organisation (ILO), World Health Organisation (WHO) and other international and regional bodies. States are responsible for protecting the human rights of migrants, whether the migrants are citizens or foreign workers, passing through the country in transit to another location or expecting to reside within the country for employment. The most comprehensive framework for the protection of the rights of migrants and their families remains the UN 1990 International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (UN 1990 MWC)
Nepali women face restrictions to working abroad which increases their vulnerability. Poverty and lower income opportunities and male domination in the family suppress the women group to migrate through irregular channels or become ‘undocumented’. Recruitment agencies charge an average NPR 100,000 (US$1,400) for their services, three times the average annual income in Nepal.
PROBLEMS FACED BY FEMALE MIGRANT WORKER
- Lack proper channels and information centers of foreign jobs
- Lack of monitoring by the authority for illegal brokers and agents
- Lack of comprehensive pre-departure orientation
- No fixed policy for wages and fee
- No policy for abuse in the work place (verbal, sexual, physical, psychological)
- Social criticism, domestic abuse and conflict, and unemployment upon return
Apart from raising awareness about various aspect of Migration and foreign labor different information desks have been set up at various outgoing points of the country but at times due to lack of monitoring mechanism and clarity in policies these desk proves to be ineffective as well as a challenging scenario for the migrant workers. Foreign employment is not a choice, it’s a way of life where no woman is satisfied to leave her family and country but due to poverty and lack of adequate job and income generation opportunities the number of female migrant workers have increased which cannot be denied. Nepali women getting sexually or verbally exploited in foreign soil is a situation of reality which cannot be overlooked. The case of woman exploitation and harassment in foreign lands are on high numbers especially in the Arab world. The job employment opportunities have evolved as the form of MODERN DAY SLAVERY which needs to be controlled through collective efforts. Female migrants workers are explicitly exploited both sexually and verbally. In most case they are pushed to the level of humanity. This is the reality of today that has explored the possibilities of what can turn to one mistake of making the wrong choice and not knowing your rights.