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Philippines Should Demand Stronger Protections for Overseas Filipino Workers

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to cut off the flow of Filipino workers to the Middle East in response to incidents of rape and suicides of Filipinos in the region. “I’m sorry, all the Filipinos there, they…
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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…
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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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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-…
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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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Investigate and Shutter Unofficial Police Lock-Up Cells

(New York) – The Philippine government should immediately release the alleged drug suspects unlawfully detained in a Manila police station “secret jail,” and ensure their protection after release, Human Right Watch said today. The…
Philippines: Release and Protect “Secret Jail” Detainees PHOTO
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World Day Against Child Labor Highlights Exploitation in Domestic Work

(New York) – Governments should mark June 12, 2013, the World Day against Child Labor, by strengthening legal protections for the 15.5 million child domestic workers worldwide, Human Rights Watch said today. Governments should ratify the International…
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Philippines Becomes Second Country to Ratify

(Manila) – The Philippines’ ratification of the Domestic Workers Convention will bring the groundbreaking international treaty into legal force, promising better working conditions and key labor protections for millions of domestic workers, Human Rights…
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Four years ago this month, I visited the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh while investigating mistreatment of migrant domestic workers in Saudi Arabia. It was a sobering way to spend March 8, International Women’s Day. I remember the embassy officials’…
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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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Slow Reform Protection of Migrant Domestic Workers in Asia and the Middle East Summary Key Recommendations to Governments of Labor-Receiving Countries To Labor Ministries and Parliaments To …
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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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I. Summary Initially I got 400 riyals as my monthly salary.  Every two years they increased it by 100 or 200 riyals.  By the end I earned 700 riyals [$182][1] per month…. On top of my salary they gave me some…
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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…
Report
Swept Under the Rug Abuses against Domestic Workers Around the World I. Introduction Best and worst government practices Key recommendations To Labor Ministries To Heads of State and Government, and…