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Ugandan woman allegedly recruited by Marphie International Recruitment Agency physically abused during employment in Saudi Arabia; company did not respond

A Ugandan woman who was allegedly recuited by Marphie International Recruitment Agency to work as a housemaid is nursing life-threatening injuries sustained during the time of her employment in Saudi Arabia. The Business and Human Rights Resource Centre invited Marphie International Recruitment Agency to respond to the allegations. The company did not respond. 


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Company non-response
4 November 2019

Marphie International Recruitment Agency did not respond

4 November 2019

Ugandan woman recruited by Marphie International Recruitment Agency narrates she was tortured by employer in Saudi Arabia

Author: The Observer (Uganda)

"Ugandan woman shares agony of exploitation in Saudi Arabia"

A Ugandan woman who had travelled to Saudi Arabia to work as a housemaid is nursing life-threatening injuries sustained during the time of her employment in the Gulf.  The victim, who requested anonymity, travelled to Saudi Arabia on a two-year contract, effective last year, through a recruitment agency in Kampala. Her travel was fully funded by Marphie International Recruitment Agency, after paying a registration fee of Shs 50,000 and an additional Shs 50,000 for the company shirt...

Indeed, she found her prospective employers waiting to receive her at the airport, from where she was taken to their home. But before she could settle in, her passport was seized, together with her phone, as the testament has been for so many other girls who have gone to the Middle East, where they are employed as nannies and housemaids...She was cut off from the outside world and forced her to adopt an Islamic lifestyle. Her workload required her to work for not less than 14 hours every day, singlehandedly running chores for the entire household. This meant that she spent more hours standing and running around, and hardly rested. 

On February 2, 2019, she boarded the plane back to Uganda, ending five months of distress. All she had was an equivalent of one month’s salary, the sole payment given to her since her arrival. Her ticket was paid for by a member of the Ugandan community in Saudi Arabia, whom she reached out for help as soon as she was released from the ‘cage’  She says that upon her arrival, she sought the intervention of the employment agency, albeit in vain.  But the company’s human resource manager only identified himself as Raphael, said the case was unfamiliar to them. He was also quick to note that their agency follows up on all the people they recruit to work abroad and ensure they are in a good state. 

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