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Chan'ad Bahraini

(Scomberomorous maculatus Bahrainius)

Note: This page has moved to a new address. Please click on the following URL to get there: http://chanad.weblogs.us/index.php?s=Raising awareness of maid abuse. Sorry for the trouble.

Raising awareness of maid abuse

Monday, July 05, 2004

If any of you have seen Lukas Moodysson's recent film Lilja 4-ever, then you will definitely recognize this story, which occurs all too frequently in Bahrain and around the Gulf. Says the GDN:
An Indian housemaid was raped by her sponsor, locked up and beaten by her employment agency and then put on a plane before she could complain to the police, according to human rights volunteers. (Continued)
Although we read such stories in the newspaper everyday, sadly, these are but a few of hundreds of such cases that go unreported on the island. In some cases the women are raped by just their sponsors, and in other cases their sponsors force them into prostitution. Again, thanks to the Migrant Workers Group (MWG) for picking up on this case and raising awareness of it.

Because it is something that is so prevalent the MWG should make a package to be given to all female domestic workers arriving at the airport. The package should detail their rights, make them aware of the prevalence of abuse here, provide emergency numbers to the MWG, and let them know what to do to get help in the unfortunate case that they are mistreated. Because the biggest problem is that the women themselves don't seem to be aware of what they may be getting in to when they arrive here, and have no idea where to go for help.

I don't know if they've shown Lilja 4-ever in Bahrain but I hope they do so. I will try to contact the Bahrain Cinema Company and see if something can be done (if they haven't shown it already).
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5 Responses to 'Raising awareness of maid abuse'

Anonymous Anonymous says:

Not seen the film but the MWG is doing a great job. Why aren't maids yet covered by the labour laws?    

Blogger Chanad says:

Well I don't know what the official reason is as to why the maids aren't covered under the regular labour laws. But, I suspect the real reason is that we are so used to having this sort of slave labour that we just aren't willing to give it up yet. I'm sure all of the folks who sit in the Parliament, the Cabinet, and the Shura Council benefit at home from slaves around to do the work. Moreover, I don't know of any individuals or groups representing the foreign labour, that sit in positions of authority or influence over labour legislation.

It seems about time that the Ministry of Labour made a permanent position for someone representing foreign workers. I also think that there should be a few non-voting seats in the Parliament for representatives of foreign workers so that they can add to the debate when the decisions are being made. Because right now, the foreign labour has no input on how things are done, and this is detrimental to everyone in the long run.    

Anonymous Anonymous says:

Hope this doesn't double post again. Anyway, what are the laws concerning foreigners. Are they subject to the same punishment as a citizens; do they have any rights?


Blogger ibn says:
7/12/2004 08:54:00 pm

Thanks for bringing awareness to the world about this. I saw your name on Zaydoun's blog and clicked to see if you had a blog. Very nice design. I'll read some more.    

Anonymous Anonymous says:
7/24/2004 04:42:00 am

this is a very delicate and important matter tha needs attention of the government. It is quite sad that human rights in every part of the world are being violated, even at a country that is supposed to have a greater, higher respect for women. I guess a woman stop being a woman when they are another from another culture. Respect doesn't have to be given to them. It is scary, and to think at one point I was under the impression that women are safer in the Middle East due to their religion and respect for their women. I was wrong. Thank you for a very provocative and educational post. Well done ~    

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