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Number of Lankan runaway maids swells

8 April 2013 02:20 am - 9     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The number of runaway housemaids seeking refuge at the Sri Lankan mission has doubled following the government’s enforcement of the Nitaqat program in recent weeks, a senior official from the Sri Lankan Embassy has told Arab News.

The Lankan mission in Riyadh receives around 10 runaway maids a day from the central province. “We have witnessed a remarkable increase in the number of runaway maids following rumors of raids that are spreading around the capital,” the official said.

According to a survey conducted by the Sri Lankan Consulate in Jeddah, most of these runaway maids leave their workplaces within three months of arriving in the Kingdom. The most common complaints voiced by these maids include harassment and nonpayment of wages.

The average contracted salary for Lankan housemaids working for a Saudi household is SR 650 per month. Employers, who hire the runaway maids locally, pay a monthly salary of SR 1,500, which is more attractive than the wage offered by the original sponsor. Some of these cases are settled at the missions in Riyadh and Jeddah through negotiation with the sponsors. The rest of the maids are sent home.

The official explained that the repatriation of maids is streamlined through the Deportation Center after their travel documents are processed. The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment provides air tickets to stranded housemaids only if they have registered themselves as domestic aides with the bureau. The others, he said, must pay for their own tickets to Colombo.

A Saudi sponsor spends at least SR 15,000 to hire a maid from Colombo, whereas a person who locally hires a runaway maid is willing to pay triple the originally contracted salary since there is no need to pay hiring costs such as visa fees, air fare and agency fees. (Source: Arab News)
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  Comments - 9

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  • Abdul Monday, 08 April 2013 11:59 AM

    why cant sri lanka stop sending women to arabia when other south asian countries can do it. what wrong with sri lanka ?

    Minan Monday, 08 April 2013 12:04 PM

    Why government don't enforce strict rules for sending house maids?

    dave Monday, 08 April 2013 10:15 AM

    You are absolutely right, the agencies make a lot of money these poor women get paltry sum..this should change.

    james Monday, 08 April 2013 12:37 PM

    Shame on you,,,,, sell women and get life.

    niyas Monday, 08 April 2013 05:33 AM

    good to know

    mohamed asfar Monday, 08 April 2013 05:35 AM

    these maids runaway from the houses and worked outside for more money. they live with unknown men and women thus risking their lives. if they had a problem they would have gone to the embassy earlier.

    TreeHouse Monday, 08 April 2013 02:28 AM

    It is high time to bring back our loved ones home. The dollars they to us actually is mostly utilized by our incompetent, irresponsible Ministers and their cronies. Sad but this is the truth !!

    Shehan Jayawardene Monday, 08 April 2013 06:30 AM

    @TreeHouse

    Be realistic. If they were banned from working in the Muddled Yeast, Sri Lanka would go bankrupt!

    Discombobulations Monday, 08 April 2013 07:29 AM

    This whole arrangement--agencies here and sponsors there--seems to benefit no one in the end, and the poor women end up either suffering abuse and low wages and then find it difficult to get out of it.


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