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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 79

Sri Lankan housemaid tells of systematic abuse in Saudi

[b]Sri Lankan housemaid tells of systematic abuse in Saudi Arabia[/b]

Tens of thousands of Sri Lankans are driven by financial need and poverty to become contract workers in the Middle East. Their conditions are appalling. Many are treated as slave labor and abused, mentally and physically. A number have died in unexplained circumstances. The Sri Lankan government, concerned above all to protect a lucrative source of foreign exchange, has taken no action to defend its citizens.

According to a report by the Information Department in Colombo, 64.5 percent of the 1.5 million Sri Lankans employed abroad are women. In 1986 the proportion was only about a half of it, at 33 percent. Most are employed as housemaids or are involved in other menial forms of work. The World Socialist Web Site recently interviewed one housemaid who described at length the exploitative conditions she was forced to endure.

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