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According to Amnesty International India, the lack of effective regulation of visa brokers and recruiting agents makes Indian migrant workers vulnerable to serious human rights abuses.

The new report focuses on migrants from the Indian state of Kerala working in Saudi Arabia: the study describes cases of migrant workers from Kerala who were deceived about their jobs, wages and working conditions by Indian visa brokers and dishonest recruiting agents. Many workers were compelled to face a range of abuses in Saudi Arabia, including forced labor, the report says.

In relation to this situation, the Chief Executive of Amnesty International India has strongly highlighted that Indian authorities have the duty to protect migrant workers from abuses with adequate instruments.

The report has documented that recent events in Iraq represent a harsh reminder of the risks that Indian migrant workers can face in the countries they work in, showing also that visa brokers and recruiting agents play a central role in the exploitation and deception of migrants.

The study is based on interviews with migrant workers deceived by visa brokers and recruiting agents, who ended up working in Saudi Arabia in jobs different from the ones they were promised. Additionally, in some cases they were not paid for several months.

The report reveals that migrants were forced to work for 15 or 18 hours without a day off, without being compensated for overtime, and subjected to threats and beatings by their employers.

Although the Indian Emigration Act governs the recruitment of Indian migrant workers, Amnesty International India found evidences of emigration laws and policies’ violations, causing severe human rights abuses.

In this alarming context, the report suggests the urgency to undertake stricter measures in order to protect the rights of migrant workers.


The gLAWcal Team

Saturday, 5 July 2014

(Source: Amnesty International)