[article & video] The plight of domestic workers abroad [Saudi Arabia]

Author: Al Jazeera, Published on: 29 June 2011

Indonesia is stopping all maids from going to work in Saudi Arabia after the beheading of a maid last week for murdering her allegedly abusive employer. The execution of 54-year-old Ruhati Binti Sapahi caused public outrage in Indonesia, prompting the government to call for the ban...Twenty-two other Indonesian workers are also on death row in Saudi Arabia. Indonesia has 1.5 million workers in Saudi Arabia alone, most of them women. In total Indonesia has 6 million workers abroad, again mainly women. [transcript:] Very important aspect of this puzzle is the regulation and monitoring of private employment agencies both in countries of origin and destination countries [says Simel Esim, a senior regional technical specialist on gender equality and women worker's rights for the International Labour Organization] Once the ban comes into effect the recruitment agency in the sending country...and in the host country...start to cooperate in ways to circumvent the government...[says Christoph Wilcke, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch]

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