While the US-based rights group has recognised that most governments in the region have responded to international concerns and are moving to protect migrant women workers, it says they will mean nothing until some definite safeguards are put in place. This is why it is pushing the governments to act quickly to fulfill their obligations to protect the rights of migrant women.
It’s a well-known fact that millions of women from
Since maids or domestic help are excluded from legal protection of law offered to other workers in most countries, in many cases there’s no system in place to check such abuse or even take action when a very tiny minority manages to bring it to the notice of the authorities concerned. According to HRW,
Nearly every week one of an estimated 200,000 migrant domestic workers in
Doubtless, this is a disturbing state of affairs. However, the fact that most countries in the region are formulating and taking long-term and effective measures to deal with the problem gives one hope.
The UAE already has laws in place that protect its domestic workers. And it has zero tolerance for employers and recruitment agencies and others who are responsible for abuse or failure. The UAE has adopted 36 recommendations of the 74 made by the international community after the country presented its first national report card to the United Nations on human rights situation in the country.
Several of our neighbours including
But clearly the region needs to do more to deal with the problem. The media could play a critical role on this front both by acting as a watchdog as well as suggesting better mechanisms and safeguards to protect these unfortunate women. The Saudi media has been running a campaign against the abuse of maids in the country. It’s not only courageously reporting such abuse but it’s also building public opinion too by naming and shaming the offenders. That may be the way to go for all of us.
Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin is the fourth Indian to receive ‘Nishan-e-Pakistan’
The first bans under the new policy were imposed on Tuesday and more designations will be made in the coming days