A group which consisted of 15 housemaids who had been illegally employed during the month of Ramadan, along with the agent who had been involved in this racket, has been arrested from a villa in Riyadh recently. The Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Labor took decisive action with the help of the local police following a tip-off that they had received. Some of the brokers had been reportedly planning to employ these women who have now been arrested, as housemaids in the homes of Saudi Arabia, where the workload increases significantly during the holy month of Ramadan, which is almost upon us.[irp]
In a joint statement issued by the public security authorities, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development have warned of strict action against all those who are involved in trading or brokering services of any and all runaway maids. The violations of the facilitators for these housemaids will amount to or will be equal to that of human trafficking and all those involved can be sentenced to a maximum jail term of 15 years, a monetary fine of SAR 1 million or both punishments simultaneously. A warning has been issued as a sequel to the advertisements which could be seen in various publications and media outlets especially on the various social media platforms which offer such services of illegal domestic workers or housemaids.
In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the act of smuggling the domestic workers with the intention of intimidation and/or exploitation is treated to be equal or equivalent to the act or crime of human trafficking. A diplomat from an Asian Embassy has stated that this particular season is one in which some of the disgruntled housemaids or domestic workers run away from their places of work in order to get better perks. The salaries which are paid by the new sponsors or employers are comparatively higher than that which was paid to them by their original employers.
The Saudi sponsors pay for the recruitment charges for the housemaids or domestic employees which usually range from SAR 15,000 to SAR 25,000 in order to recruit any housemaid from any of the Asian countries. Several of the Saudi families have now resorted to hiring the illegal housemaids, due to the fact that the legal employment or recruitment of the domestic workers has become increasingly challenging in the last few years. Some of the expatriate women who have entered the Kingdom illegally are also now offering their services to the Saudi families, which has created a flourishing black market for these types of employees and services.[irp]
People have come out to congratulate and praise the move by the Ministry of Labor and the law enforcement agencies. This is because the legal or original employers had paid a lot of money to have these housemaids brought to the Kingdom and then they just run away, which causes significant losses to the employers. Numerous people are also hoping that the Ministry and concerned authorities continue this work of theirs.
Source: Arab News