Monday, September 19, 2016

The stranded workers in Saudi

MigrantRights has an article on overseas workers stranded in Saudi.

Some came and found they didn't get jobs, others were laid off due to a recession or because the gov't wants to hire locals instead.

And some could go home, but refuse because they are owed back wages.

The hashtag #NoIndianLeftBehind highlights the efforts of local Indian groups to provide relief to the over 10,000 Indians affected by the crises. Migrant workers from other nationalities have also been affected by the oil glut; over 8,000 Pakistani workers, 10,000 Filipinos, and at least 100 Sri Lankans are similarly stranded due to the economic crises. The Non-Resident Nepali Situation (NRNA) estimates that 10% of the 600,000 Nepalis working in Saudi have been hit by the kingdom's economic recession.

the numbers sound large, but they are a small percentage of those working in Saudi Arabia, where an estimated 9 million foreigners find jobs. Some, like our relatives, are nurses or doctors, many women go to work as maids or nannies, and then there are construction workers, oil workers, drivers or running shops.

 For example, some estimate one million Filipinos work in the kingdom.

Many of these are "contract workers" who go for a couple years and return home, but often go back and work again, or extend their contract.

there are human rights abuses against these workers, but that might be because the abuses get reported. Given the huge number of folks involved, one expects problems. And yes, there are a lot of people working there without proper papers.

Remember that many enjoy working there and rewew their contracts, despite the restrictions including restriction against freedom of worship for non Sunni Muslims.

which is why, if the war spreads there, or the Yemeni rebels hit something serious in Saudi with their Iranian supplied missiles, there could be a huge refugee crisis that would dwarf India's evacuation of their 170 thousand citizens from Kuwait.

Unfortunately, the foreign workers in the Middle East are pretty well invisible to the western MSM.

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