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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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“I started ironing clothes and he started pulling me to try and rape me. I was lucky the younger brother came back and rang the doorbell–he then left,” 21-year-old “Basma N.,” (not her real name) told me. In February in Dar es Salaam,…
Poster detailing domestic workers’ rights at the office of Zanzibar: Conservation, Hotels, Domestic and Allied Workers Union (CHODAWU-Z).  Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania.
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Tanzania Weak Protections Leave Their Domestic Workers Exposed to Abuse in Gulf Countries

  “Basma” (name changed for her safety) carefully unwrapped the headscarf she had neatly tied on her head to reveal the rest of her thick, black hair. She ran her fingers through, searching her scalp, then parted her hair to reveal a long scar on…
201711wrd_tanzania_domesticworkers
News

Women Describe Beatings, Exploitation, Harassment

  (Dar es Salaam) – Tanzanian domestic workers in Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) face excessive working hours, unpaid salaries, and physical and sexual abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Abusive visa-…
201711wrd_tanzania_domesticworkers
Report
Summary The [employer’s] houses were too big and salary very little. I was working for four houses for 50 rials (US$130) [per month] only. It was not fair.… I told this to the agent [in Oman] and said, “I want to go back home.…” She said, “You cannot…
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Tanzanian domestic workers in Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) face excessive working hours, unpaid salaries, and physical and sexual abuse. Abusive visa-sponsorship rules in those countries and gaps in Tanzania’s policies leave the women exposed…
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“Maria,” a Ugandan worker, paid $400 in 2013 to an agency in the United Arab Emirates that promised her a job in a mall in Dubai. Instead, the agency placed her as a domestic worker with half the salary she had been promised. Maria told me that her…
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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Where is Sam Mugumya? This question is plaguing his family and Uganda’s opposition leadership. Sam, an ardent opposition party activist, disappeared from his home district of Rukungiri, on Uganda’s western border with Congo, in early November. His friends…
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The candidates may disagree on some human rights issues, but the next president will face challenges that transcend partisan lines. How might tomorrow's presidential election affect U.S. policy on human rights? The common wisdom is that unlike their sharp…
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Government Must Prosecute Abuses by Counterterrorism Forces

(Kampala) - The Ugandan government should demonstrate its commitment to prosecuting security force abuses by appointing a court-ordered coroner to look into the death of a detainee, Human Rights Watch said today. No one has been held accountable for the…
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"I kindly beg you to ensure that you keep our children. I don't think I will be coming back." Those were the last words of Saidi Lutaaya, spoken over the phone to his wife. He had been picked up from Old Taxi Park in Kampala in November 2007 by men…
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Prosecutions and Civilian Oversight Needed to Deter Abuses

(Kampala) - The Ugandan government should take prompt action to end unlawful arrest and torture by its anti-terrorism unit, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 89-page report, "Open Secret: Illegal Detention and Torture by the Joint…
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Three Groups File Lawsuit Seeking Information about ‘Ghost’ Detention

(New York) – In the most comprehensive accounting to date, six leading human rights organizations today published the names and details of 39 people who are believed to have been held in secret US custody and whose current whereabouts remain unknown. The…
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The Ugandan authorities have arrested two key opposition members of parliament on what appear to be politically motivated charges, chilling the political climate ahead of next year’s elections, Human Rights Watch said today. Two MPs from the…
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(Geneva) — With a membership that includes governments responsible for crimes against humanity, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights meeting in Geneva next week must take dramatic steps to restore its sinking credibility, Human Rights Watch said today.…
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The Ugandan government must immediately investigate the reported recent execution of four detainees by state security agents, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should also reveal the whereabouts of 10 others arbitrarily detained, and must…