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Modern-Day Slavery in the UAE: Unpaid Filipino Maid Beaten and Starved for Years

On March 2, 2010

A Filipina housemaid was starved, abused, kept locked inside and not given salaries for three years by her employers in the UAE, Khaleej Times reported last month.

The woman, Baina Mokalam (27) came to work for a Egyptian family in the UAE as a maid three years ago. Baina said that whenever she asked for her salary, which was never paid, she would receive beatings by dustpans or brooms. She was never allowed to leave the house and was unable for all those years to contact her family back home. Baina recounted how her female employer gave her food "once a day, at around 3pm. Though I felt dizzy and my stomach hurt, I had to work."

Recently, a neighbor of the family in Ras Al Khamiah heard Baina's cries as her employer repeatedly banged her head against the wall. The neighbor also noticed that the maid's face was swollen and alerted the police. Baina's misery did not end there and she had to spend a night in jail before being brought to court. Her employer remained in jail and the case was referred to the Public Prosecution.