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8 Apr 2021

Ashwin Kumar & Akhil C.S, Open Democracy

India: Kerala workers in the Gulf face unprecedented levels of wage theft, with low awareness of rights & access to justice leaving many stranded & jobless

See all tags Allegations
Construction at Duqm, Oman

"How migrants in the Gulf are fighting discrimination during the pandemic," 8 Apr 2021

­­In the Gulf alone, over 700 Keralite workers have reported non-payment of wages since the pandemic began… with millions of migrant workers in the region, the true number is likely much higher.

Wage theft – the denial of wages or benefits rightfully owed to an employee – could devastate Kerala’s economy…

Since the pandemic began, close to 900,000 Keralites have been repatriated from around the world, the highest number of any Indian state. Almost 95% returned from the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states…

Most workers are not aware of how to report their employers for withholding wages, leading to cases being registered late and delayed investigations. And there are complicated issues of legal jurisdiction. Those who have returned to Kerala cannot file legal cases against their employers without a power of attorney in their destination country.