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20 Nov 2020

Migrant Rights

Abolish Absconding Charges

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Gulf states encourage employers to file 'absconding' charges against workers who fail to show up to work. Workers who are reported as absconding are vulnerable to detention, deportation, and loss of any claims to owed wages or other grievances. Employers often misuse this power to threaten or punish workers who complain and they generally face no consequences for false reporting. Workers, in turn, have almost no opportunity to contest these charges: whether workers left employment due to abuse or wage theft, or did not leave at all, workers have almost no opportunity to contest these charges.

Gulf states must end the criminalisation of absconding and establish more permissive procedures for workers to leave their employment.