Maid locked up without pay for 17 years in Saudi

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Kusuma Nandina, aged 57, arrived in the Saudi capital Riyadh in 1994 and was kept as a slave in her employer’s home. (Image for illustrative purposes only)

Kusuma Nandina, aged 57, arrived in the Saudi capital Riyadh in 1994 and was kept as a slave in her employer’s home. (Image for illustrative purposes only)

A Sri Lankan maid is to receive SAR72,000 (US$19,000) in compensation after being locked up in her Saudi Arabian sponsor’s home without pay for 17 years , it was reported.

Kusuma Nandina, aged 57, arrived in the Saudi capital Riyadh in 1994 and was kept as a slave in her employer’s home, Arab News reported.

Aside from not receiving any wages, she was forbidden from communications with anyone, including her family in her home country.

The case apparently came under attention two years ago when Nandina’s 25-year old daughter contacted the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry saying she had not heard from her mother in years.

Upon their initial visit to her sponsor’s home in Riyadh, the owners denied that any domestic helpers were residing there.

After several repeated attempts to find her, Nandina was eventually tracked down.  She is now preparing to head back to Sri Lanka.

The case again highlights the treatment of foreign domestic helpers in Saudi Arabia.

Last year, the Kingdom stopped issuing work visas to helpers arriving from Indonesia and the Philippines, after authorities in those countries demanded increased pay and better working conditions for their citizens.

In response, Saudi officials have said they are seeking to recruit more domestic workers from Ethiopia.

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Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Danny White


Saudi authority should punish the sponsor for doing this, and
should not let them get away with this.
This is 21st Century.

Not all Saudi citizen is behave this way, so do not let the bad one get away with it.

Kenya is already prohibit their citizen to work as maid in Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: Sultan

If the facts in the article are truly facts, the family responsible must receive a judicial punishment severe enough to make an example out of them. People treating people like animals can't be excused.

Posted by: Aussie

The Saudi should be sentenced to 17 year in prison, and clean the prision daily. The maid should seek further legal advice about a more substantial and appropriate compensation. Karma will always prevail, but hopefully sooner rather than later for both of them.

Posted by: Reza

Shame on KSA. The employer should be punished for kidnapping and false imprisonment. The victim should be compensated for damages resulting from her imprisonment and her earnings. The true award should be upwards of $500,000. This amount should be awarded to punish the employer and to prevent any other saudies from engaging in such criminal behavior.

Posted by: Paolo C

20 years of jail on the Saudi, shame on the country, and life pension for the maid.

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