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India: Deaths of workers from Telangana State in the Gulf draw attention to causes and consequences of exploitative labour migration

Author: Roli Srivastava, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Published on: 7 November 2017

Death brings home the reality of Indian workers' life in Gulf, 30 Oct 2017

Officials...cite stress, ill health and working in searing temperatures as the most common causes of death …Over the years, the Indian government and non-governmental groups have received a steady stream of complaints from migrant workers, ranging from non-payment of wages to torture and abuse…Workers often take loans of 50,000 to 100,000 Indian rupees ($750 to $1,500) to pay agents...“They don’t visit doctors when they are unwell to save money,” [Ramanna] Chitla said, adding that deaths attributed to ill health are often due to exploitative work conditions. Government figures show there are some 6 million Indian migrants in the six Gulf states [and] according to official data, more than 30,000 Indian nationals died in the Gulf states between 2005 and 2015.

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