Thursday, June 30, 2011

30/06 Saudi bans domestic workers from Indonesia, Philippines

Jun 30, 2011

RIYADH - SAUDI Arabia announced on Wednesday it would stop granting work permits to domestic workers from Indonesia and the Philippines, following hiring conditions imposed by the Asian countries.

The ministry of labour said it would 'stop issuing work visas to bring domestic workers from Indonesia and the Philippines, effective from Saturday' due to 'the terms of recruitment announced by the two countries', according to a statement carried by state news agency SPA.

'The ministry's decision coincides with its great efforts to open new channels to bring domestic workers from other sources,' said the statement in English quoting the ministry's spokesman Hattab bin Saleh al-Anzi.

Last week Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono denounced the beheading in Saudi Arabia of an Indonesian maid and accused Riyadh of breaking the 'norms and manners' of international relations. His comments signalled Indonesia's growing anger over the treatment of its manual labourers in the Gulf countries, after a spate of cases of abuse and killings.

Ruyati binti Sapubi, 54, was beheaded on June 18 after she was convicted of killing her Saudi employer, prompting Indonesia to recall its ambassador in Saudi Arabia for 'consultations'. Indonesia also announced a moratorium on sending migrant workers to Saudi Arabia, where hundreds of thousands of Indonesians toil as maids and labourers.

Saudi Arabia and the Philippines have also clashed over the working conditions of Filipino domestic workers in the oil-rich kingdom. Earlier this year the Philippines asked Saudi Arabia to guarantee higher pay for Filipino housemaids but the request was turned down. -- AFP

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