Speaking of foreign domestic workers in Saudi Arabia…the aforementioned country takes a step to catch up with labor laws circa 1400.
For the first time, Indonesian maids working in Saudi Arabia will be guaranteed a monthly wage, time off, and contact with their loved ones, under a new agreement signed by the Gulf kingdom and Jakarta this week.
Wo, generous. A wage! Time off! Permission to phone!
Human rights groups say the pact is a step towards ensuring the protection of foreign workers’ basic rights in Saudi Arabia. But it fails to address a worrying trend of domestic helpers filing complaints of exploitation and abuse only to face counter-allegations by their employers of “theft, witchcraft or adultery,” according to Human Rights Watch.
See? What about that kind of “false accusation” eh? Is Ben Radford equally worried about that sort of thing? Does he write about it much? Or ever?
Earlier this month, King Abdullah pardoned an Indonesian maid, who was on death row after being convicted in 2003 of “casting a magic spell on her employer and his family,” a spokesman for the Indonesian Embassy told Saudi news site, Arab news.
She returned to her home in West Java, but others haven’t been so lucky. Some 41 other Indonesian workers face possible death sentences in Saudi Arabia on charges ranging from black magic to stealing, adultery and murder, according to the Indonesian Foreign Ministry and local non-profit groups.
Many facing charges claim they suffered long-term abuse or exploitation at the hands of employers, according to the Indonesian Foreign Ministry’s director for legal aid and protection of Indonesian nationals overseas, Tatang Budie Utama Razak.
“When I observe why they killed their employer, most of them were not mentally ready (to work overseas),” Razak told CNN.
“They have to work unlimited hours, they have take care of the children, take care of the house, (their salaries are) unpaid, they cannot go out, (and) they cannot contact their families,” he said.
Still, there are false accusations. People can choose what they write about. Radford and Tavris can write about false accusations against Important Men. That’s their right.