Steps needed to stop recruitment agents exploiting poor labourers

THIS column has repeatedly and for a long time, championed the cause of workers, who are victimised by unscrupulous labour employment offices, whether those offices are operating inside or outside the country.

By Catch Of The Day

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Published: Mon 10 Jul 2006, 10:55 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:09 PM

We have said so many times that action should be taken against these offices, which prey on many workers and exploit them.

We have also called for conducting a thorough selection of these offices, in collaboration with the bodies concerned, in the countries from where the workers are hired.

Such cooperation is desperately needed as most of workers are uneducated, unaware of their rights and duties, and cannot tell the difference between a visit visa and an employment visa.

The simple workers cannot plan what will ensure that the payment they receive here is equal to what they have already spent at home to get the visa.

The Ministry of Labour has announced its plan to confront the unscrupulous recruitment offices by concluding labour agreements directly with the countries exporting the labourers. The agreements aim at resolving problems caused by these companies.

Under these agreements, the supply of labour will be made through official channels — the Ministry of Labour in the UAE and their counterparts in a number of Asian countries, namely India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Nepal.

We have earlier said in the column that the incoming workers are under enormous pressure and burden — much more than they can bear — because they had already paid a huge amount of money or sold all their properties to procure fictitious employment contracts or genuine ones with a disparity in the promised and stated wages.

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