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Sri Lanka and Saudi Sign 'landmark' agreement on migrant domestic worker rights

On January 16, 2014

Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia have signed an MoU on the protection of migrant domestic workers that will prevent employers from withholding passports (sources Arab News, Colombo Page, Colombo Gazette)

Under the agreement, salaries of workers will be paid directly into their bank accounts, rather than in cash. The pact was signed in Riyadh by Saudi labour minister Adel Fakeih and Dilan Perera, Sri Lankan minister of foreign employment promotion and welfare.

The Saudi Ministry of Labour has said that it hopes that the deal will provide a framework which will support the recruitment of more domestic workers from Sri Lanka. The deal comes just months after Saudi's crackdown on undocumented migrant workers.

The agreement follows on from a similar MoU struck between the Saudi and Indian Governments at the beginning of January (Sources: Gulf News, Gulf Business)