Migrant Rights Statistics

Domestic Workers in the Gulf

90%

of all Kuwaiti households employ a foreign domestic worker. Over 620,000 migrant domestic workers in Kuwait, accounting for over 21.9% of the country's total employment.

10.2%

Domestic workers account for 10.2% of the total Bahraini work force and 36.6% of the total female workforce.

99.6% & 94.8%

of all domestic workers and personal assistants in Saudi Arabia and the UAE are migrant workers.

63.7 hours

Domestic Workers in Saudi work an average of 63.7 hours per week, the second highest rate in the world.

Domestic workers in Qatar work an average of 60 hours per week

750,000+

Domestic Workers Work in the UAE. 96% of Emirati families employ domestic workers to take care of their children.

They comprise 20% of the total expat workforce and outnumber family members in 22% of Emirati families. Domestic workers perform an estimated 80% of parental responsibilities.

> 20%

Domestic workers in Kuwait earn less than 20% of the average national wage. Domestic workers earn less than 30% of the average workers wage in Qatar.

$147 USD is the minimum monthly wage for domestic workers in Kuwait - but there are few enforcement mechanisms in place to ensure workers are even paid this amount.

Sri Lankan domestic workers earn only 20% of Saudi's private sector minimum wage - approximately $80-100 USD/month.

2,247

housemaids have required rescue by the Kuwait's Nepali embassy since 2010.

30 + cases a week of exploitation and abuse are received by the embassy each week. 30 women on average escape to Nepal's Riyadh embassy each month. In the span of 22 months, over 635 Nepali domestic workers required rescue in Saudi Arabia.

30-50 maids arrive daily at the Centre for Housemaids' Affairs in Riyadh.
Under the sponsorship system, escape is often the only way to leave abusive and exploitative conditions.

5 to 10 complaints are received by the Ethiopian consulate in Dubai each day. Complaints are primarily from domestic workers on issues of unpaid salaries and physical abuse.

Closing Statement

Though laws regulating domestic labor in GCC countries vary, domestic workers generally lack basic labor rights because protective legislation either does not exist or is not enforced. With the partial exception of Bahrain, domestic workers are excluded from national labor laws and consequently from regulations relating to maximum working hours, safety conditions, mandatory break periods, and other minimum standards. Because most domestic workers live with their employers and because their residency status is tied to their employment, workers’ mobility and access to redress mechanisms is also circumscribed.

More Statistics

Advancing the rights of migrant workers throughout the Middle East