Thursday, November 18, 2010

Human Rights for Workers

There is a big problem in parts of the Middle East, in regards to workers' rights.  This is generally a problem for workers from Southeast Asia.  There are large numbers of Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, and others in the Middle East, especially in the Gulf states.  And they are often mistreated. 

Human Rights Watch is looking into cases involving maids from Sri Lanka working in Jordan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia.  In these case the women either had nails pounded into their bodies, or were forced to swallow nails. 

Another maid in Saudi Arabia was convicted of murdering a baby in her charge.  She says the baby choked on his food and she could not save him.  And considering how little regard is given to people from Southeast Asia, it would not surprise me if the baby's family wanted her life because their baby died.

This is a major problem, and I have seen it myself, in the Gulf.  For some reason, people from Southeast Asia are seen as menials, and often expendable.  They are the equivalent of illegal Mexicans working in the US, who cannot go to the police, except that in the Middle East they generally are not illegal.  Just mistreated.

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