Saudi Arabia revokes visas for Ethiopian housemaids after differences over recruitment conditions

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Following huge differences over recruitment conditions with Ethiopia, the Saudi Ministry of Labor has suspended all work visas issued for housemaids from the country.

By Abdul Karim Al-Diyabi

Okaz/Saudi Gazette


TAIF — The Ministry of Labor and Social Development has stopped the recruitment of housemaids from Ethiopia after negotiations between the two countries reached a deadlock.

Saudi authorities lately issued thousands of work visas to Saudi families to recruit housemaids from Ethiopia.

According to Saudi recruitment offices, not a single Ethiopian housemaid has so far arrived in the Kingdom though they were expected to come before Ramadan.

The offices held a meeting with the ministry on May 14, the ninth day of the fasting month, to discuss issues in recruiting Ethiopian housemaids.

During the meeting, the ministry insisted that the recruitment offices commit themselves to provide accommodation facilities for housemaids to be recruited from various countries.

Labor market sources said the ministry already removed the facility for recruiting Ethiopian maids from its Musanid electronic gate. It also took out Ethiopia from the list of countries from which recruitment is allowed.

There are 19 countries from which the recruitment of housemaids is currently allowed. They are the Philippines, Niger, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Mauritania, Uganda, Eritrea, Peru, Madagascar, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Cambodia, Burundi, Mali, South Africa and Kenya.

The ministry has cancelled all work visas already issued for Ethiopia saying there were deep differences with its Ethiopian counterpart over the wording of the work contract.

It said the two sides failed to reach a mutually acceptable contract while the Ethiopian side refused to set up a center for the health checkup of the maids.


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