Monthly Archives: August 2017

Saudi trafficking victim’s struggles continue even after escape

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After two years of hardship in Saudi, Joomaila Beevi returned to India empty handed. The 48-year-old widow now survives on what her aged parents and siblings earn.

When Migrants-Rights.org met Joomaila at her thatched-roof home in Kerala, she was getting ready to travel the northern part of the state to work as a midwife and earn some money for survival.

“Sometimes, they (the family) work and bring in food. And sometimes we all go to sleep hungry. I have lost everything… Before migrating to Saudi Arabia I at least had a rented house and a share of my father’s land. Now, there is nothing,”

“What’s left is a loan, debt, health issues and a daily struggle for food and medicines.”

Joomaila lost everything after fleeing an abusive employer in fear of her life and forfeiting her salary. Continue reading

‘No Food, No Pay’: 800 Indian Workers Stranded in Oman Tell All

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The workers have even written to the Indian embassy in Muscat. (Photo Courtesy: Rejimon Kuttapan)

After the 5 rials (around Rs 800) given by the Indian embassy on Tuesday to meet emergencies exhausts, we will be again in the same situation. No money even for emergencies. Uncertainty on what to do is haunting us a lot.

These were the words of around 800 Indian workers who are stranded in an industrial town in Oman, without proper food, drinking water, shelter and valid work permit cards for the last few weeks.

“We were not even having proper food for the last few weeks. It was stale food we were getting. There was no money to buy some drinking water too… We thought that we will die here,” a worker said.

“Now, the embassy has given us a little money. But after that what…,” the worker added. Continue reading

Sameera wants to return: In 6 audio clips, the story of an Indian worker trapped in Abu Dhabi

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A 27-year-old domestic worker, Sameera*, from Bengaluru, is stuck in Abu Dhabi after she escaped from an employer who is said to have been unbearably exploitative. On August 3, she somehow escaped the house, and reached the Embassy of India, UAE, Abu Dhabi.

But when officials there turned her away, she was caught by her recruiting agency. They locked her in a kitchen with four other women workers from the Philippines, Ethiopia and Indonesia.

Beaten, verbally abused and kept on camera surveillance for five days, the women were desperate to return home. Their only hope was a mobile phone Sameera had hidden in her handbag. From this, she sent a flurry of frantic voice messages on Whatsapp to two friends in Bengaluru – lawyer Darshana Mitra and social worker Kaveri Medappa. Continue reading

Sri Lanka’s war widows trafficked as slaves to Gulf

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When Nathkulasinham Nesemalhar took a flight from Colombo to Muscat in March she believed the boarding pass she clutched in her hand was her golden ticket to a better life after decades of war where she lost everything, including her husband.

The 54-year-old widow from Sri Lanka’s former war zone had been promised work as a maid for an affluent family in the Gulf state of Oman. She would get a nice room, decent working hours and 30,000 rupees ($150) a month – enough to pay off her debts.

But Nesemalhar’s dream soon turned into a nightmare. She found herself enslaved with other women in a dimly-lit room with no ventilation, miles from Muscat. She was taken out daily, sent to different homes to clean, and then locked up again at night. Continue reading