Domestic workers are those people who stand to help us out in domestic chores. In Saudi Arabia, many expatriates and Saudi families can afford to have domestic workers. There are 8 different types of abuses they have to face in different houses. The purpose is not to target anyone community but to educate employers about these abuses so that they can read and be aware of it. Many times, we don’t feel that we are doing something wrong unless somebody comes and let us know about it. If you are involved in any of the below-mentioned abuses with your domestic workers, please leave it. They are as many human beings as you are and they deserve to be respected. Also Read: Domestic Workers’ Law in Saudi Arabia
PHYSICAL ABUSE – This particular form of abuse occurs when any person intentionally causes pain or injures somebody else. This type of abuse can also include slapping, kicking, lashing and any other form of physical contact which may cause injury or pain to the other person. Physical violence or physical assault is the other notion to describe this kind of abuse where the victim experiences serious bodily harm leading to pain and injury. This type of abuse is well exampled by an incident in which a domestic helper named Pahima Alagai Palacasi was intentionally burnt with hot boiling water. The incident revealed that bit was because of some minor misunderstanding of the sponsor’s mother which made her pour hot boiling water on her.
FAILING TO PAY WAGES ON TIME – This is also a common type of abuse which the domestic helpers experience in foreign countries. This happens whenever any employer fails to pay their employee’s salary on time. A delay in payment of salary has been defined under the domestic worker laws of Hong Kong, as not exceeding more than 7 days after the period of payment of wage. Whether this has been done to teach them a lesson or not, it is still considered as a violation of the rights of the domestic helpers.
NOT PROVIDING SUFFICIENT PRIVACY – this particular form of abuse occurs when the employee is not being given enough privacy to do the things that they wish to do for themselves e.g. an employer listening to an employee while she speaks to her family or friends.
FAILURE TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE FOOD – every living thing needs food in order to survive. However, there are some employers who look down upon their own employees as if they are inhuman robots, who can work long hours without even complaining, hence some of them are given expired, leftover food or not enough food to replenish energy.
FAILURE TO PROVIDE OFF DAY OR REST – There are a few employers who think that they want to extract the maximum amount of work for the wage they are paying, hence they force their employees to work night and day, 7 days a week.
FAILING TO GRANT THE WAGES AS AGREED IN THE CONTRACT – There are several employers who do not make the payment of the wage which had been agreed upon in the contract. Hence as soon as the employees arrive, they are told that the salary has been decreased. The employees are helpless as they do not have any possible choice but to either accept the new terms or end the contract and start from square 1.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT – This is probably the most common of types of abuse which are experienced by the domestic helpers. However, it is one of the most common forms of abuse which are not reported to the authorities as the helpers are afraid of losing their jobs and also want to avoid the embarrassment. This is one thing which is difficult to define too as praising the attire is not classified as sexual harassment, however, stating that the outfit is sexual, is harassment.
DEPRIVING COMMUNICATION MEANS – There are those employers who do not allow their employees to communicate with their friends and family. For example, some of them may confiscate the cell phones during the working hours. Though talking during working hours is looked down upon, confiscating is another thing.