HRC to prosecute those behind ads for sale of domestic help


Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — The Human Rights Commission vowed on Monday that it would prosecute those who are publishing advertisements for the sale, renting and sponsorship change of domestic workers in an illegal way.

As part of its efforts to monitor and pursue practices involving human trafficking, the commission said that it has taken a number of measures to curb advertisements publishing in newspapers, digital media and social media platforms made by unauthorized individuals or entities, promoting the sale, rental and sponsorship change of male and female domestic workers.

“Efforts are being made, in cooperation and in coordination between a number of security, supervisory and social authorities, to conduct transparent investigations into such cases,” the commission said in a statement.

The commission will verify such cases after meeting with the affected workers and will transfer individuals or institutions violating the regulations to the judicial authorities to take necessary action against them.

HRC stressed that human trafficking is a heinous practice and serious crime strongly combated by the Kingdom, as it violates human dignity and exposes persons to exploitation and slavery.

Accordingly, the Kingdom remains committed to its extensive and transparent cooperation with international and regional organizations as well as other countries fighting this crime to bring its perpetrators to justice.

The commission cited some situations where victims of human trafficking exist.

These include working in a specific environment from where workers were unable to leave; being subjected to violence and injuries as a result of assault; receiving grossly inadequate wages; working for long hours without rest or off days; denying possession of their passports or identity documents as those documents are being held by someone else; no contact or restrained contact with their families; accepting money for repatriating them to their country, and forcing to work for others without any remuneration.

The Commission commended the measures taken by the Saudi government in combatting this crime, including the issuance of a special law to combat human trafficking with specifying stringent punitive measures including imprisonment for a period not exceeding 15 years or a fine not exceeding SR1 million or of both.