Just a day after the news of a Saudi employee chopping off her Indian domestic worker’s hand
made news, MEA has sprung into action and has started looking for options other than Saudi Arabia for these maids.
India is alarmed by frequent allegations of sex slavery, arm-chopping and sadistic domestic torture of housemaids in Saudi Arabia.
The MEA is thus considering a total ban on recruitment of housemaids by Saudi Arabia, and following the recent arm chopping incident which India later described as “unacceptable,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has now ordered the MEA to pursue this matter further with the Saudi Foreign Ministry in Riyadh.
Soon after the incident, the MEA issued a statement asking the Indian Embassy in Riyadh to ask for ‘severe punishment’ for the accused employer who amputated Kasthuri Munirathinam arm.
Taking the matter further Swaraj then further discussed the topic of ban at a meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) and the Ministry of External Affairs that was held on October 8.
Talking about the meeting Rajya Sabha member D. Raja, who was also present at the committee said:
“Sushmaji and we discussed how to stop the flow of housemaids from Tamil Nadu’s Vellore and West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, which top the list of regions producing housemaids for the Saudi kingdom.”
He then went on to add that Swaraj in the past had asked Saudi Arabia about obeying the Indian recruitment laws which is meant for 18 countries in West Asia and the South-East Asian region. The Saudis, however, refused to obey the rules. Looking at the matter, India is thus hoping to stop the flow of maids into Saudi Arabia.
Talking about the ban on October 8, it is believed that Swaraj and the participants at the Consultative Committee meeting also discussed how best to ensure that the ban will not be violated by unscrupulous agents in India.
As of now India has more than 607 foreign employers registered, who are freely violating norms of employing housemaids from India.