A Daughter’s Plea
Domestic worker abused and trapped in employer’s home
Summary: Indian national Jayanthi arrived in Doha at the end of 2019 to work as a domestic worker. She suffered extreme physical, emotional and mental abuse at the hands of her employer. Several months ago, she left the home to complain to the police and the Indian embassy. She was returned to the employer, as officials said it would be difficult to send her home during the pandemic.
The employer punished her by locking her up in a room without food for a few days.
On 15 March she attempted to go to the embassy again, to file a complaint and seek shelter. She was apprehended by the employer as she tried to take a taxi, and hasn’t been heard from since.
According to her daughter, this is the longest her mother has gone without being in touch with them. Her family fears for her life.
Date 20 March, 2021
Voice note 1: I am Vanitha, I am sending this message from India, my mother Jayanthi went to Qatar 15 years ago. From the beginning, she has had a problem there. They force her to work when she is unwell. And harass her about her work. They beat her. She is not well, she is nearly 50. And when she is ill they don’t even take her to the hospital. We don’t know what to do. Can someone help? We have complained to the embassy, but it is not moving fast.
Voice note 2: Five days ago my mother decided to go to the [Indian] embassy to file a complaint. The house owner caught her and beat her up and took her back. That’s all we know. We haven’t spoken to her since. Until today we don’t know if she is there (alive) or not. We don’t understand what to do.
Notes and Follow up
- MR was first contacted on 25 February 2021 by an NGO from India, highlighting the plight of Indian domestic worker Jayanthi A.
- MR spoke to Jayanthi regularly and guided her to file a complaint with the embassy. She informed MR that she had filed a complaint months ago, in person with the police and the embassy, but was returned to the employer, and suffered even more severe abuse.
- She waited to receive her salary in mid-March before attempting to go to the embassy again.
- On 15 March she attempted to leave the home of her employer and was caught and beaten up. That was the last message MR received from her.
- Neither her family nor MR have been able to get through to her.
- MR had informed the Indian Embassy in Doha and the ILO’s Project Office in Qatar on the same day of her abduction. A copy of this complaint has been forwarded to the National Human Rights Committee of Qatar on 20 March.
- MR has reviewed all her documents. She arrived on a ‘family’ visa (through a broker) under the sponsorship of the Kafeel who then transferred it to a domestic worker visa.
- The broker who facilitated the visa and job from India is not reachable.
- MR has several voice messages on record where Jayanthi has recounted in detail what she has been enduring.