Thousands of Asian work­ers stranded in Saudi Ara­bia

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THOUSANDS of job­less In­di­ans, Filipinos and Pak­ista­nis are stranded and des­ti­tute in Saudi Ara­bia af­ter the plunge in oil prices sparked con­struc­tion lay­offs, ac­tivists and of­fi­cials said.

Some Filipinos are forced to beg or sift through rub­bish to sur­vive af­ter go­ing un­paid for months, said Garry Mar­tinez, chair of the Mi­grante group which works for the mil­lions of Filipino overseas work­ers world­wide.

“Some of them have noth­ing to eat and have to go through the garbage for food,” said Mr Mar­tinez on Au­gust 2.

In­dia said on Au­gust 1 it was ne­go­ti­at­ing with Saudi au­thor­i­ties to repa­tri­ate thousands of its own na­tion­als af­ter they lost their jobs, leav­ing them with no money to re­turn home.

In­di­ans are among mil­lions of poor Asians work­ing in the Gulf states, where hu­man rights groups say many suf­fer ex­ploita­tion and abuses, in­clud­ing non-pay­ment of wages.

Mi­grante co­or­di­na­tor Gil­bert Saludo – who re­turned from Saudi Ara­bia last month af­ter two years work­ing there – said as many as 20,000 Filipinos could be af­fected. Mr Saludo said Manila had ex­tended fi­nan­cial aid to them.

Pak­istan said 8520 of its na­tion­als had not been re­ceiv­ing their salaries for sev­eral months. –

Photo: AFP

Pedes­tri­ans pass the In­dian em­bassy in Riyadh on Au­gust 2. New Delhi is feed­ing over 10,000 In­dian labour­ers stranded in the Gulf with no wages af­ter los­ing their jobs.

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