Tuesday, 26 August 2014

 It is very common to hear the imprisonment and torture of Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia every day. Workers from Ethiopia come to Saudi Arabia under a sponsorship system routinely abused by employers who subject them to what Human Rights Watch calls "slavery-like conditions". Passports are often confiscated, wages delayed or withheld, and forced labor is commonplace.
Female domestic workers suffer from confinement, food deprivation, and sever sexual, psychological and physical abuse. Male workers live in conditions most people would find unsuitable for animals. In general, Saudi is becoming a hell for Ethiopians while we offer thousands of hectares of fertile lands for their investors in our homeland, Ethiopia.
Those women and men of Ethiopia leave their motherland in search of a better life and to provide for their families. All those barbaric beatings, rape, burning women with hot oil/water, stripping them down of their humanity and so many cruelties wouldn't be happening if only the government of Ethiopia would give job opportunities to it's citizens. Regardless, the government should be responsible for the welfare of it's citizens in foreign countries. 
A crackdown on illegal immigrants in Saudi Arabia in 2013 led to the death of at least three Ethiopians and the deportation of over 150,000 Ethiopians. Many of the workers have returned to Ethiopia with psychotic related issues mainly because of the suffering they are subjected to and refusal by Arab employers to pay them as promised.
The government of Ethiopia is blaming the employment agencies in the country for engaging in illegal human trafficking of Ethiopian to Arab countries. The agencies make the domestic workers sign contracts which are not legally binding. There are over 430 registered employment agencies in Ethiopia. According to government analysis these agencies make illegal deals with their counterparts in the Arab countries where they are paid a commission of as much as 200 dollars per person once they deliver them. This amount is then deducted from the salary of the Ethiopian domestic workers without their consent. After the recent massive deportation from Saudi Arabia, a special task force has been constituted to push for an amendment of the labor law. The new laws will ensure that employment agencies if necessary will only export labor that has basic skills which can be proven by a certificate from government vocational institutions. The laws will campaign for better pay and working conditions in Arab states. In addition they will also strive to create awareness that Arab countries are not the destination for job seekers. However, despite Ethiopia efforts, routes through Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania and South Africa remain porous for human trafficking of its unskilled labor by brokers.