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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can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…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.
News
Under a new agreement Somalia is sending between 600 and 1,000 domestic workers to Saudi Arabia in time for Ramadan. The month of fasting usually brings an increase in the demand for domestic workers as employers often host large iftar meals to break…
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Yesterday, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia inked an agreement that says Indonesian women working in Saudi homes will be able to keep their passports, communicate with their families, get paid monthly, and have time off. The new pact comes in the wake of years…
News

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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Absence of Enforcement Mechanism Will Inhibit Effectiveness

(Beirut) – Saudi Arabia’s Council of Ministers broke new ground on August 26, 2013, by passing a draft law criminalizing domestic abuse. The law, however, does not detail specific enforcement mechanisms to ensure prompt investigations of abuse allegations…
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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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Rizana Nafeek was a child herself -- 17 years old according to her birth certificate -- when a four-month-old baby died in her care in Saudi Arabia. She had migrated from Sri Lanka only weeks earlier to be a domestic worker for a Saudi family. Although…
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Beheading May Be Imminent for Rizana Nafeek, Age 17 at Alleged Killing

UPDATE: On January 9, 2013, the Saudi Ministry of Interior announced the execution of Rizana Nafeek, a Sri Lankan domestic worker convicted of killing a baby in her care in 2005 when she was 17 years old. Human Rights Watch strongly condemns the execution…
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But Draft Regulations Leave Loopholes for Abuse

(Beirut) – The Saudi Labor Ministry’s proposal to abolish the employer-based “sponsorship” system is a positive step for migrant workers, Human Rights Watch said today.  The system fuels human rights abuses against migrants by tying their legal residency…
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Death Penalty Upheld for Sri Lankan, Age 17 at Time of Alleged Killing

(New York) - King Abdullah and Interior Minister Prince Naif should halt the execution of Rizana Nafeek, a Sri Lankan domestic worker convicted of killing a child in her care when she was 17, Human Rights Watch said today. Saudi Arabia is one of only…
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King Abdullah Should Institutionalize Human Rights Protections

(New York) - King Abdullah should do more to transform his reforms - largely symbolic so fa­r - into institutional guarantees, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. By turning promises into law the monarch can secure lasting gains for his…
Report

 
 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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Cabinet Should Strengthen Bill before Enacting into Law

(New York) - Saudi Arabia's Shura Council passed a bill on July 8, 2009, to improve legal protections for the estimated 1.5 million domestic workers in the country, but the measure still falls short of international standards, Human Rights Watch said…
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Commitments Also Made to UN on Juvenile Death Penalty, Domestic Workers

(Geneva) - Saudi Arabia made important commitments on women's rights, on ending the juvenile death penalty and on other human rights issues during its review by the UN Human Rights Council on June 10, 2009 and should now work to carry out these reforms…
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Shura Council to Debate Proposed Annex to Labor Law

(New York) - Saudi Arabia's Shura Council should ensure that proposed labor protections for domestic workers adhere to international standards and recommend their prompt enactment, Human Rights Watch today. The Shura Council is planning to discuss the…
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  Saudi Arabia, its image in need of polishing in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, has opened itself up to foreign scrutiny of its notoriously poor human rights record. Members of Congress now make regularly scheduled stops in the kingdom; in…