Modern-Day Slavery in Saudi Arabia: Abused and Unpaid Maids "Rented" for Profit

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May 5 2010

A severely abused Indian maid managed to procure a cellphone and contact the Saudi paper "Arab Times", sharing her harrowing tale.

The maid, "Amina" (not her real name) began working for a family living in Ahsa in the Saudi Eastern Province almost a year ago. Soon after the maid arrived from India, her abuse began. Without her sponsor's knowledge the maid relayed the agony she has been enduring: “They beat me mercilessly till blood came out of my face. If you were here, you would see my face is swollen and there is a gash on my head." Amina added that she is kept locked in the house and was given wages for only five months of work.

The maid stated that her employers have brought several maids into the country and they "rent" them out to other Saudis for profit, in a violation of the Saudi law. The maid told the paper that “they bring maids and then force them to work in other people’s homes and charge SR100 per day." The maids do not receive anything from the profit. Amina reported that other maids are abused as well by her sponsors, “there was a Nepalese maid who they abused a lot, and now they have brought a Sri Lankan maid who like me they beat. They have not paid her either.”

The maid managed to contact the paper using a cellphone that one of the families she was "rented" to gave her after learning about the abuse she suffers.

Advancing the rights of migrant workers throughout the Middle East