Sri Lankan maid in Muscat claims to have lost hearing ability in her right ear after her sponsor allegedly "tortured-her for demanding her wages.
Speaking to Times of Oman, M.M. Deshapriya, the Counsellor of Labour at Sri Lankan Embassy in Muscat, said the 45-year-old maid, Mulia Nona fled from the sponsor's house and took shelter at the embassy following the incident in October, 2012. "We immediately admitted her to a private hospital and later shifted her to the government hospital, - he said.
The maid, who had been working at her sponsor's house since October 18, 2011, alleged that she was "treated like an animal- and also showed her friends the injuries she suffered from "years of maltreatment-while working as a housemaid.
"Her face and arms were still swollen when I saw her last time, - a friend of her claimed.
The maid told her that she had been wounded after being hit in the head with a sharp object, and later, the sponsor punched her in the ears, which caused hearing loss.
"Following the complaint, we called her sponsor where he agreed to settle all her medical bills, - the Counsellor of Labour said.
Mulia informed her friends about being hit in the arm with a hard object she was working with in the kitchen. In another incident, her sponsor slapped her across her right ear.
"Such incidents are very rare in Oman as most of the sponsors take care of the housemaids, - Deshapriya said.
After taking shelter in the hospital, Mulia underwent an X-ray and a CT scan at a private hospital and at Royal Hospital where an "internal injury-was detected near her right ear.
There are currently over 1.5 million migrant workers from Sri Lanka, mostly in the Middle East.
More than 6,000 Sri Lankan workers left their home country for employment in Oman in 2010, out of which 3,000 were housemaids. Altogether, there are around 17,000 Sri Lankan housemaids working in Oman.
Deshapriya also said that the embassy has started blacklisting the housemaids and migrant workers who have been convicted of crimes in Oman since September 2012.
"With the proposed blacklisting, these workers would be prohibited from obtaining foreign employment not only in Oman but throughout the GCC countries, and they could minimize the number of issues surfacing in these countries relating to migrant workers,- he added.
There are some 40 registered recruitment agencies in Oman recruiting labourers and housemaids from Sri Lanka. "The embassy is regularly working with Omani authorities to prevent the abuse of Sri Lankan workers by their employers,-Deshapriya added. (Source: Times of Oman)