Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH – Over 200,000 Ethiopian housemaids have been recruited to the Kingdom in less than two years, of which only 350 have been deported back to Ethiopia for medical or mental health reasons, Ethiopian Ambassador Mehamed Hassen told Al-Hayat newspaper.
The embassy receives on a daily basis complaints from Ethiopian domestic helps who have been victims of violence and have been mistreated by some families or brokers, he stressed.
“We haven’t received any complaints from any Saudi sponsor who claims that he/she has been mistreated by their Ethiopian housemaid,” he pointed out.
The embassy has received a large number of applications ever since recruitment commenced, but the number of applications has decreased recently following new regulations made by the Ethiopian Labor Office, which stipulated that any Ethiopian who wants to go to the Kingdom for work should have a relative there who would act as a mediator.
The ambassador also talked about some Saudis who breached Ethiopian laws and were arrested and deported by the government. The Saudis were engaged in activities without proper licensing from Ethiopian security authorities. He said his government discussed the matter with the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs and cleared all misunderstandings surrounding this issue.
He also said that the government in his country has begun taking measures against anyone involved in smuggling Ethiopian domestic workers to the Kingdom. Ethiopian TV has launched an extensive campaign to raise public awareness about this illegal practice and its consequences, he added.
Saudis started turning to African countries for recruiting household helps about two years ago after some Asian countries, including Indonesia and Philippines, put impossible conditions for sending their workers to the country.
The Kingdom imposed a reciprocal ban on recruitment from four countries because the authorities were unable to reach a satisfactory agreement with these countries. Ethiopian housemaids have been high in demand ever since.
An Ethiopian Embassy source in Riyadh said in a statement last March that the mission was facilitating procedures to send 45,000 maids to the Kingdom every month.
related issue http://www.diretube.com/ethiopian-news/young-ethiopian-maids-recruited-to-serve-arab-countries-video_8a4dc54fe.html