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20 Aug 2021

Saudi Arabia: Yemeni contracts cut, university & medical staff "forcibly expelled"

Riyadh streets

Over several weeks in July and August 2021, Yemeni migrant workers in Saudi Arabia have faced a wave of redundancies, "forced expulsion" and discrimination as their employers, including universities and hospitals, cut their contracts. Workers at universities were told they had only months' notice to leave Saudi Arabia, despite living in the country for years.

It is not yet clear what the decision is behind this latest wave of mass expulsions of medical and university staff.

On 28 August, 13 international and Yemeni organizations, including Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, American Center for Justice and Geneva Council for Rights and Freedoms, submitted a petition to the UN Committee on Migrant Workers calling for pressure on Saudi authorities to reverse the decision.

On 31 August, Human Rights Watch issued a press release expressing its concern and calling on Saudi to suspend the decision and allow Yemenis to stay and work in the Kingdome.