Ethiopia to favour its female nationals going to work in UAE

By IndepthAfrica
In Djibouti
Jan 2nd, 2013
Ethiopian women face jail sexual abuse, rape in Ogaden prisons.

Ethiopian women face jail sexual abuse, rape in Ogaden prisons.

In July 2012, Ethiopia imposed a ban on its female citizens from applying for domestic jobs in the United Arab Emirates.

It cited employer abuse, recruitment agencies abuse and human trafficking as reasons for the suspension.

The ban came after an Ethiopian worker sustained burns to more than 80 percent of her body in a kitchen gas explosion at her employer’s house in Dubai.

An estimated 100,000 Ethiopians work and live in the UAE. Reports say five to 10 citizens Ethiopian workers file complaint for being abused, unpaid salaries and physical abuse.

Many victims are shy to talk about their painful experiences. But Meron Abate who has recently returned home after four years of domestic worker in Dubai is not. She tells her story through poems with hopes to save her fellow Ethiopian women from passing through what she did.

s/byte Meron Abate-Former Domestic worker … Before we left Ethiopia they told us they would pay us like 300 dollars per month but when we got there , they did not respect this.

Meron says many Ethiopians she worked with in the UAE complained of being beaten and insulted by their masters in the Arab countries of Persian Gulf region. When asked if she would go back to work as a domestic worker, her answer was short and clear.

s/byte Meron Abate- Former Domestic worker …Never

It is the experiences of women like Meron and rising number of complaints that has prompted the Ethiopian government to engage in serious talks with the United Arab Emirates on improving labor relations.

s/byte Ambassador Dina Mufti- Spokesperson Ethiopia Foreign Affairs… It will be kind of a total mechanism whereby the laborers who will go to any country, any gulf state should go there legally and their safety has to be protected and the contractual obligations should be fulfilled on both sides.

Although it is not yet public, it is reported that the new labor agreements with UAE is to include a minimum wage and insurance guarantees for all Ethiopian migrant workers.

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