Ethiopia bans do­mes­tic work­ers from tak­ing up jobs in UAE

Ethiopia, UAE gov­ern­ments work­ing to solve is­sues and abuse faced by maids

Gulf News - - Nation - BY AB­DULLA RASHEED Abu Dhabi Ed­i­tor AGHADDIR ALI Staff Re­porter

The Ethiopian gov­ern­ment has stopped send­ing women for em­ploy­ment as do­mes­tic work­ers in GCC coun­tries, in­clud­ing the UAE, a gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial con­firmed to Gulf News yes­ter­day.

The UAE gov­ern­ment has also con­firmed that the tem­po­rary ban is from the Ethiopian gov­ern­ment’s side, and it’s ap­pli­ca­ble for a num­ber of Arab coun­tries, in­clud­ing all the GCC na­tions.

Sources at the Con­sulate Gen­eral of Ethiopia in Dubai told Gulf News that the ban started last week and it’s still in force. How­ever, the Ethiopian and the UAE gov­ern­ments are ne­go­ti­at­ing a me­moran­dum of un­der­stand­ing (MoU), to safe­guard the rights of Ethiopian do­mes­tic work­ers in the UAE.

“Re­cently, we have seen some cases in which our work­ers faced prob­lems of non­pay­ment of wages and be­ing de­nied health in­sur­ance. The tem­po­rary ban on re­cruit­ment of Ethiopian do­mes­tic work­ers is the first step to weed­ing out un­scrupu­lous agen­cies and abu­sive spon­sors,” the of­fi­cial said.

Ev­ery day, as many as 400 Ethiopi­ans en­ter the UAE. “When they reach the coun­try, most of them land in trou­ble, as they do not know they are to work as house­maids,” the of­fi­cial said.

As per the Min­istry of Hu­man Re­sources and Emi­rati­sa­tion’s an­nounce­ment No 6, 2018, Ethiopian work­ers’ ar­rival in the UAE has been stopped tem­po­rar­ily. How­ever, the min­istry has urged typ­ing cen­tres, that pre­pare en­try per­mits for Ethiopian work­ers, to be aware of the new ban. If they type en­try per­mit ap­pli­ca­tions for Ethiopian work­ers from De­cem­ber 11 on­wards, the cen­tre will be held re­spon­si­ble.

Gulf News vis­ited a num­ber of typ­ing cen­tres in Shar­jah and Aj­man on Tues­day and they con­firmed that they have ceased typ­ing ap­pli­ca­tions for Ethiopian do­mes­tic work­ers.

Hap­less il­le­gals

Ethiopia has banned its citizens from ap­ply­ing for do­mes­tic or blue-col­lar jobs in the UAE un­til an agree­ment can be reached to pro­tect their rights.

The Ethiopian gov­ern­ment was alarmed by the in­crease in peo­ple be­ing il­le­gally re­cruited and traf­ficked to the coun­try.

But the de­ploy­ment ban could be lifted “very soon” once the labour agree­ment be­tween the UAE and Ethiopia is fi­nalised, the con­sulate of­fi­cial said. It will in­clude the scope of work, lim­i­ta­tions, and pro­tec­tion of maids, among other stip­u­la­tions. Le­gal frame­works will also be in place to close all il­le­gal chan­nels through airports, im­mi­gra­tion and all net­works, and to bring vi­o­la­tors to jus­tice.

Ev­ery day, the Ethiopian Em­bassy in Dubai re­ceives many com­plaints from its do­mes­tic work­ers re­lated to abuse, ha­rass­ment and rape, non-payment of salary to house­maids for sev­eral months or even years, in some cases, the of­fi­cial said.

He said an un­known num­ber of Ethiopian do­mes­tic work­ers are in the coun­try il­le­gally, brought here by il­le­gal agents mostly based in Aj­man. “The UAE and Ethiopian gov­ern­ments are co­op­er­at­ing to fight il­le­gal re­cruit­ment and hu­man traf­fick­ing,” the of­fi­cial said.

Nearly 100,000 Ethiopi­ans live in the UAE and a large num­ber are maids. Pic­ture for il­lus­tra­tive pur­poses.

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