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Unwarranted Amid Health Risks, Global Travel Restrictions

    (Beirut) – People in immigration detention in Gulf countries pending deportation should be given alternatives to detention amid health risks and global travel restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Human…
A worker rests at his accommodation in Qadisiya labor camp, Saudi Arabia August 17, 2016.
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(Tunis) – Morocco should take steps to ensure compliance with its new domestic workers law, which took effect on October 2, 2018, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should ensure that there are robust labor inspections, provide…
A domestic worker in Casablanca, Morocco, in 2017. © 2017 AIC Press
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Migration Ban Increases Abuse Risk

(Beirut) – The Philippines’ new ban on Filipinos migrating to Kuwait for work is likely to increase abuses of workers who are forced to resort to unsafe and unregulated channels to enter the country, Human Rights Watch said today. Kuwait and the…
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“If you want to go back [home], you have to pay back the money we spent to bring you here.” “Atiya Z.” (not her real name) and I were sitting under a veranda, shaded from the hot sun in Dar es Salaam, the commercial capital of Tanzania, when…
Employment visa from Oman in the passport of a former Tanzanian domestic worker. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
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Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
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“Rashida,” from Kigamboni in Tanzania’s commercial capital of Dar es Salaam, said a recruiter promised her a job as a domestic worker for a family in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. Instead, she wound up in a recruitment…
Illustration of a domestic worker exploited in Oman.
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Video Shows Moment That Domestic Worker Screams for Help, Falls

Last week, a horrifying video of an Ethiopian domestic worker falling from what media reports say is the seventh floor of an apartment building in Kuwait went viral. The video appears to have been filmed by the worker’s employer inside the flat with the…
A female employer and her children are accompanied by their domestic worker, back right, as they walk through The Avenues, an indoor luxury shopping center in Kuwait City.
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His Excellency Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kuwait City The State of Kuwait Your Excellency, I write to…
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Key Protections, but Significant Gaps Remain

(Tunis) – Morocco’s new law regulating work for domestic workers could help protect thousands of women and girls from exploitation and abuse, Human Rights Watch said today. The new law was adopted by the House of Representatives on July 26, 2016, and will…
MENA Morocco Domestic worker
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Guarantees Crucial Rights, but Gaps Remain

(Beirut) – Kuwaiti legislators’ adoption on June 24, 2015, of a new law giving domestic workers enforceable labor rights is a major breakthrough that should lead other Gulf states to take similar action. Kuwaiti authorities should rigorously carry out the…
A female employer and her children are accompanied by their domestic worker, back right, as they walk through The Avenues, an indoor luxury shopping center in Kuwait City.
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Ratify Treaty, Bring National Law Up to International Standards

(Beirut) – The Moroccan parliament should revise a draft law on the legal protections for domestic workers so that it complies with international standards, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Labor Minister Abdeslam Seddiki. The draft law,…
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Legal Advances in Two Dozen Countries Globally as New Treaty Enters Into Force

(Montevideo) – The Middle East depends heavily on domestic workers but trails other regions in adopting critical reforms to protect their rights, the International Domestic Workers Network (IDWN), the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and…
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The Moroccan police arrested Taki Machdoufi in El-Ayoun, Western Sahara, in 2010, and interrogated him over five days about fatal clashes that had just taken place between Sahrawi protesters and the police. Each time the Sahrawi activist denied any role…
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No Fair Trials Until Courts Reject Statements Obtained by Torture, Abuse

(Rabat) –Morocco’s courts are convicting defendants based on confessions they claim were obtained through torture or falsified by police, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The country’s judicial reform agenda needs to include stronger…