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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
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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
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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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For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about.  Trump…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
Report
Summary This is what I have to say about the wounds on the body of the said accused. Since he was a hard core criminal, he refused to give any information. It was essential to get that information from him, that’s why [the police] used the “truth…
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The arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York for paying her full-time nanny less than $600 per month – a meager US$3.31 an hour – instead of the US$4,500 stipulated on her visa application has created a diplomatic storm between the United States and India…
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Further Labor Reforms Needed to Stop Abuses, Meet Global Standards

(New York) – The decision by Singapore’s Manpower Ministry to grant foreign domestic workers a weekly rest day is an important reform but falls short of international standards, Human Rights Watch said today. The changes, announced on March 5, 2012, go…
Report
Summary Kuwaiti people treat domestic workers like members of the family. There is no difference between them and any member of the family. —Mohammed al-Kandari, undersecretary of social affairs and labor, Kuwait, November…
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Key Reforms Stalled, Few Remedies for Slavery-Like Conditions

(Jakarta) - Saudi Arabia should implement labor, immigration, and criminal justice reforms to protect domestic workers from serious human rights abuses that in some cases amount to slavery, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. Employers…
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(Abu Dhabi) - When labor ministers from 22 Asian and Middle Eastern countries meet in Abu Dhabi this week to discuss Asian contract migrant workers, they should address widespread violations of migrant workers’ rights, Human Rights Watch said today. Both…
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Migrants’ Groups Call for Key Reforms

To participants in the Colombo process, including governments in Asia and the Middle East, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM): We, the undersigned groups, represent migrants’ associations, trade unions, human rights groups, and other…
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Migrants’ Groups Call for Key Reforms on International Migrants Day

(New York) - Governments in Asia and the Middle East must take stronger action to fight rampant abuse against migrant workers, several migrants’ and human rights groups said in a joint letter on the eve of December 18, International Migrants’ Day. Tens…
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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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Torture, Unfair Trials and Forced Confinement Pervasive

(London) - In Saudi Arabia foreign workers—who comprise one-third of the kingdom’s population—face torture, forced confessions and unfair trials when they are accused of crimes, Human Rights Watch said today in a report that offers a rare glimpse into the…
Report
SUMMARY "It was like a bad dream" is the way one migrant worker from the Philippines summed up his experiences in Saudi Arabia.Another worker, from Bangladesh, told us: "I slept many nights beside the road and spent many…
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(Geneva) – The United Nations should appoint a high-level expert to monitor the impact of counter-terrorist measures on human rights, Human Rights Watch urged today. In a new report released at the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, Human Rights Watch…
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The $100 million that Bill Gates' philanthropy will add to the battle against HIV and AIDS in India is a welcome expression of concern for what Gates rightly portrays as one of the worst epidemics in the world. But the Gates Foundation's generous support…