Sri Lanka going to stop sending house maids

June 7, 20169 Comments

Sri Lanka will gradually stop sending house maids abroad, mainly to the Middle East, due to rights abuses, social costs and a local labour shortage, government spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said on Wednesday.

Sri Lanka’s expatriate workers, mainly house maids and unskilled labourers, send back remittances — the island nation’s main foreign exchange earner — that help earn around $7 billion a year for the $82.2 billion economy.

Senaratne said President Maithripala Sirisena had appointed a committee to study strategies to reduce the numbers gradually and finally stop sending maids abroad. “We want to discourage the house maids category in the foreign employment because the social cost is very high,” he told Reuters.

Human rights abuses and social costs due to rapes, drug addiction and child abuse in many families of house maids, and labour shortage locally, have prompted the government to take such a decision, he said. The total number of departures for foreign employment declined by 12.4 percent last year to 263,307, partly due to the slowdown of economic activities in the Middle East.

Sri Lanka is already encouraging sending skilled male workers abroad instead of low-skilled females and house maids. In 2013, around 1,650 Sri Lankan house maids complained of being physically and sexually abused by their employers mainly in the Middle East, the latest data from the Foreign Employment Bureau showed.

In 2013, the Saudis beheaded a young Sri Lankan housemaid for killing an infant left in her care, rejecting repeated appeals by the Indian Ocean island against her death sentence. Colombo recalled its ambassador from Riyadh in protest.

After their Sri Lankan maid complained of too much work in 2010, a Saudi couple tortured her by hammering 24 nails into her hands, legs and forehead. The maid returned home. Last year, however, Saudi authorities reduced a Sri Lankan maid’s sentence for adultery from death by stoning to a three-year jail term after an appeal.

Arabtimes

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  1. From a human rights perspective it is quite shockingly sad that there are so many reports of physical and sexual abuse coming from these house maids. I really wish we all lived in a better world but unfortunately that is not reality.

    I am not Muslim nor do I pretend to understand why their laws are their laws – the best I can do is follow their laws while I am in their country.

    I hope the Saudi couple who tortured that woman were put on trial for human rights abuse and I am thankful that the house maid was able to return home. I would never wish pain or death upon someone who has not commited a serious crime.

    I don't think the Sri Lankan maid who committed adultery should be in jail or stoned to death, but its not my country and its not my law. The law is the law. There is no point in even discussing if a law should be a law, whether it is a law based on soverenty or religion. The law is the law and those who willfully break the law risk suffering the consequences.

    People seem to think that they are above the law or that the laws do not apply to them and then get outraged by the causality of being caught breaking those laws.

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  4. This is right decision from the Srilankan government

  5. It's grate don't send Enyone as a h/m

  6. Babu Venki says:

    When the open indian house maids visa ?

  7. Should b stop it is right desigion all countries stop sending housemaid after will come from USA or uroupeion person house made then they will know how much cost??

  8. Gwen Cajes says:

    hope also Philippine stop sending housemaid in middle east…..

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