Last year I posted about P. Mijhar, a native of Nepal who worked for a period in Saudi Arabia and then returned home. He lost his job as result of illness, and discovered that there was no protection for migrant workers in Saudi Arabia.
The plight of migrant workers on the Arabian Peninsula is especially important now, in the midst of the financial crisis. They are being laid off by thousands and sent home to countries in which finding new employment is difficult at best.
Mr. Mijhar has launched a petition to draw attention to the circumstances of migrants in Saudi Arabia. In his preamble he says:
I would like to shed light on the Exploitations of Asian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia by privately owned company due to lack of government mechanism to monitor problems and issues concerning their protection and welfare in time of accident or serious sickness.
Also most of the Asian migrant workers are forced to work long hours without pay and very low payscale compared to other countries.
Gulf cooperation council have declare the right to protect the right of Asian workers welfare and security they have entitled but is still yet to come in action in Saudi Arabia.
And the petition itself:
We, the undersigned, call on the Saudi government to implement the following demand to abide by the Gulf cooperation council policy passed and declared to protect the welfare and rights of Asian workers.
- All the wages of Asian workers are not below the range of S.R. 800.00 ( Eight hundred Saudi Riyals)
- The working regular shift hour should be 8 regular shift hour according to international labor law. More than 8 hour will consider overtime hour.
- All the workers are to provided with good medical facilities and medical insurance policy.
- The company should provide or protect workers from good working environment and not force to work if he or she is physically not fit to work or sick.
- They should allowed weekly day off if they are willing to take.
- In the time of accident or serious sickness company should compensate workers through insurance policy. All the workers should insured for these term in insurance company.
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- There should be formed special task force to monitor all the issue concerning exploitation, sexual abuses, job harassment, discrimination etc. These task force should check every company surrounding if there is any suspicion of such act and freely act and take action to employer if they are doing so. In this task force some Asian minor should recruit for some translation problems.
- Company cannot terminate any workers unless he or she involved in serious crime or illegal activities. This action should be taken on evidence basis not in verbal or paperworks.
- Every employee should provide with well accommodation facilities and food allowance.
- Saudi government should provide legal welfare fund to every single Asian migrant workers.
- All the contract paper signed by the company should be approved by Saudi labor ministries abide by Gulf cooperation council declarations.
- If any of company or employer are found guilty of exploitations and abuses then they should be taken legal action and brought into justice.
- No illegal recruitment should allowed which is the main cause of the low payscale that company are paying and let these workers work long hour without pay. This practice should end and labor authorities should take severe action for this act.
- Every Asian migrant worker should be provided a Gratuity or special fund after working long periods in a company.
To sign P. Mijhar’s petition, visit Go Petition.