Migrant domestic workers remain vulnerable to exploitation in spite of growing efforts by Arab and Asian governments to afford them protection, a rights watchdog has said.
In the report, “Slow Reform: Protection of Migrant Domestic Workers in Asia and the Middle East,” released on Wednesday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged governments to do away with restrictive sponsorship policies and to take increased measures against abusive employers.
The 25-page report looks at recent reforms and shortcomings in Lebanon, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Malaysia. It said that although all the countries had taken some steps towards protecting migrants, tangible progress was sluggish.
“Several governments have made concrete improvements for migrant domestic workers in the past five years, but in general, reforms have been slow, incremental, and hard-fought,” said Nisha Varia, women’s rights researcher at HRW and chief author of the report. “Millions of Asian and African women workers remain at high risk of exploitation and violence, with little hope of redress,” the report added.
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