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Why Saudi Arabia is a Mecca for menial workers

By | July 27th 2011 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

 Exactly what ails Kenyans? Despite reports of rampant abuse of domestic workers in Saudi Arabia, they are still itching to go to the country, which appears stuck in its slave trading past.

Our case is not different from that of Indonesia and Philippines, countries with huge numbers of house helps in Saudi Arabia, which value the help of maids in growing their economies.

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But the two have fallen out with the Saudis. Their complaints about better pay (now about Ksh20,000) for the maids and ‘human rights’ did not amuse the Saudis who responded by banning workers from both countries. Riyadh said it would instead fetch maids from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Eritrea, Mali and Kenya.


Weak knees


This made Philippines to suddenly develop weak knees. It pledged to seek its workers alternative employment abroad if negotiations failed with Saudi Arabia. Something is sickening here. Is domestic work the only thing a Government can dream for its citizens? Unfortunately, yes, if its policies on job creation are as wanting as those in Philippines, Indonesia and Kenya. Sad.


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