November 14, 2007

Exported and Exposed

Abuses against Sri Lankan Domestic Workers in

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates

I. Summary
Key Recommendations
II. Background
Status of Women and Girls in Sri Lanka..
"Push Factors" and Sri Lankan Women's Decisions to Migrate for Work
Sri Lankan Women's Labor Migration to the Middle East
III. Abuses of Prospective Women Migrants in Sri Lanka
Regulatory Framework in Sri Lanka and the Recruitment Process
Recruitment Fee System and Debt Payments
Deception and Lack of Information in Recruitment and Trafficking..
Pre-Departure Medical Testing and Coerced Contraception..
IV. Abuses in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates
Unpaid and Underpaid Wages
Wage Exploitation..
Physical and Psychological Abuse..
Sexual Abuse..
Heavy Workload and Excessively Long Work Hours without Rest
Food Deprivation and Inadequate Living Conditions
Confiscation of Passports, Forced Confinement, and Restricted Communication
Prohibitions on Returning Home..
Forced Labor
Exploitative Practices by Labor Agents in the Countries of Employment
V. Protection Failures and Obstacles to Effective Redress
Government Obligations under International Human Rights Law...
Bilateral Labor Agreements
Response of the Sri Lankan Government
Pre-Departure Protection Failures

Licensing and Regulation of Labor Recruiters and their Subagents


Proposed Migration Ban

Sri Lankan Consular Services in Countries of Employment101
Inadequate Complaint Mechanisms and Victim Services upon Return to Sri Lanka107
Response of the Countries of Employment: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates112
Exclusion from Labor Laws112
Immigration Regulations115
Obstacles to Investigation and Prosecution of Reported Abuses118
VI. Conclusion and Recommendations121
VII. Acknowledgments130