Tuesday, August 24, 2010

150 runaway Sri Lankans to be deported this week

Published: Aug 16, 2010 00:36 Updated: Aug 16, 2010 00:36
RIYADH: More than 150 Sri Lankan workers who have been residing illegally in the Makkah province after escaping from their employers are to be deported this week.
“The workers include 70 male and 80 female domestic servants who have run away from their employers,” Sabarullah Khan, Sri Lankan consul general in Jeddah, told Arab News on Sunday.
He added that all the paperwork regarding the deportation of these workers has been finalized but immigration authorities have yet to give the green light after screening the workers for criminal history.
Khan said the main reason for workers running away from employers is underpayment or nonpayment of salaries. He pointed out that harassment and ill-treatment cases are minimal and that such cases are brought to the notice of the mission as soon as they occur.
Khan said that domestic aides pay around SR6,500 in placement fee to recruitment agencies who give them false promises of high salaries. Workers discover the ruse only after arriving in the Kingdom with their passports in the possession of local placement agents or employers.
Two to three runaway workers seek refuge daily at the Sri Lankan Consulate in Jeddah.

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