Housemaids who go overseas and are harassed or do not receive payments from their employers should complaints with the Police in those countries for diplomatic missions to take actions, the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) explained.
Working Director of the SLBFE Upul Deshapriya said that in the event a complaint is lodged by a maid with the Police in the respective overseas country, instead of verbally informing the Sri Lankan diplomatic mission in the said country, the matter can then be officially pursued by the said Sri Lankan diplomatic mission stationed in the country where the issue arose.
In the month of January 2016, of the Sri Lankan maids who had come to safe houses maintained by Sri Lankan diplomatic missions abroad, 46 were in Riyadh, 138 in Kuwait, 11 in Dubai, 39 in Qatar, four in Malayasia, 22 in Abu Dhabi, eight in Jeddah and 12 in Jordan. In the same month, of the maids who had been repatriated to Sri Lanka, eight were from Jeddah, one from Lebanon, nine from Jordan, 12 from Kuwait, seven from Dubai, 36 from Qatar, three from Malaysia and 12 from Abu Dhabi.
Failing this, only repatriation or finding them alternative employment elsewhere if that is the wish of the maid in question is all the SLBFE can do, he remarked.
“The issues range from harassment in the homes of the employer. Harassment sometimes includes sexual harassment. In certain cases the salaries are not paid,” he mentioned.