Plight of the domestic help in Saudi
- There are approximately 2.4 million enslaved domestic workers from countries like Philippines, India, Sri Lanka and Nepal working in private households in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and other Gulf countries.
- The workers are employed under the regional kafala system i.e. the assent of the "sponsor" family is needed before leaving employment.
- According to Saudi law, domestic help cannot escape an 'abusive employer'.
Indian woman's hand chopped off in Saudi Arabia
8 Oct 2015
- An Indian maid hailing from Tamil Nadu's Mungileri village was subjected to heinous violence in Saudi Arabia.
- Her hand was severed by a Saudi woman who had employed the 56-year-old maid.
- The Saudi woman cut the maid's hand off after the latter had put in a complaint that her owner's family ill-treated her with the Saudi officials.
Swaraj speaks about the Saudi monstrosity
Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted saying, "Chopping of hand of Indian lady - We are very much disturbed over the brutal manner in which Indian lady has been treated in Saudi Arabia."
Reason behind the heinous crime
8 Oct 2015
- On 29 September 2015, Saudi officials had gone to the house where Kasthuri Munirathnam worked to make periodical enquires about "the well-being of house maids".
- Kasthuri had brought to the notice of the authorities that "her employers were ill-treating her," and that she was over-burdened with work.
- This complaint triggered the 'savage' attack on Kasthuri.
An independent probe on the Saudi sponsor too
9 Oct 2015
- The Saudi authorities arrested the woman responsible for committing the crime while taking Kasthuri to the hospital.
- The Indian Ministry of External Affairs asked the Saudi government to carry out an independent probe in the episode and pushed that a case of "attempted murder" be fixed against the sponsor who should be punished as well if guilty.
Government to seek justice for Saudi victim
9 Oct 2015
- Vikas Swarup declared on behalf of the ministry of external affairs that the government would seek justice for Ms Kasturi Munirathinam whose hand was chopped off in Saudi Arabia.
- He said that "This incident is deeply disturbing. The victim is currently stable,".
- He further said that the matter would be taken up to the Saudi authorities and an explanation sought.
Hand-chopping case in Saudi Arabia: India will pursue justice for victim, MEA says - The Times of India
The global plight of domestic workers: few rights, little freedom, frequent abuse | Rebecca Falconer and Annie Kelly | Global development | The Guardian