HRW calls for better conditions for migrant workers in Oman

HRW calls for better conditions for migrant workers in Oman

By Tharushan Fernando

13 Jul, 2016 | 10:08 am

According to a report filed by the Human Rights Watch, many migrant domestic workers are trapped in abusive employment in Oman.

The 68-page report titled I Was Sold: Abuse and Exploitation of Migrant Domestic Workers in Oman, documents how Oman’s kafala (sponsorship) immigrant labour system and lack of labour law protections leaves migrant domestic workers exposed to abuse and exploitation by employers, whose consent they need to change jobs

While those who flee can face legal penalties for “absconding”- many allege that their tenure of work is riddled with beatings, sexual abuse, unpaid wages, and excessive working hours.

In a culture where there is dependency on migrant domestic workers to take care of children,cook and clean; the workers themselves have very little resources alongside a high reliance on their wages by their own families and in turn has to face cruel and exploitative conditions.

At least 130,000 female migrant domestic workers, and possibly many more, work in the sultanate and most are from the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Ethiopia.