MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A human rights watchdog says many women from Asia and Africa employed as domestic workers in the United Arab Emirates are exploited and abused in slave-like conditions.
The abuse complaints are rampant throughout the wealthy Persian Gulf region that relies on foreign labor. The Human Rights Watch says the problem is that the workers’ residency is tied to their employers through a sponsorship system that prevents them easily changing jobs.
The report released Thursday says workers’ exclusion from the Emirates’ labor law leaves them at risk of abuse both by employers and recruiters. Problems include passport confiscation, non-payment of wages, excessive work, food deprivation and psychological, physical and sexual abuse.