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Wed 4 Nov 2009 06:22 AM

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Indonesia slaps worker ban on Saudi, Kuwait

Gov't takes action to repatriate 1,750 workers in Mideast amid mistreatment claims.

Some 1,750 Indonesian workers currently working in the Middle East will be repatriated next week amid claims by their government that they are being mistreated.

The migrant workers - employed in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan - will be returned home from November 9 "for their own good", a government official said.

The workers would be brought home because they were not being treated fairly in the Middle East, said Indonesian Manpower and Tranmigration Minister, Muhaimin Iskandar in comments published by the Indonesian News Agency.

The minister said Indonesia would also stop sending workers to the three Middle East countries.

"At least 1,750 migrant workers employed in the Middle East will be repatriated and for this purpose the government will send aircraft to the Middle East starting on November 9," he said.

Iskander admitted that Indonesia's working relations with Middle Eastern countries in manpower matters were "not so good", adding: "Improvements will in the first place have to make in the recruitment and training systems, provision of health services, transportation to airports and eventually in the workers' protection in destination countries to prevent the recurrence of abuses."

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Sand Piper 10 years ago

The treatment of Asian domestic slaves in Saudi is appauling. The sponsors have complete control over their human posessions, they can not leave the country without their masters permission, lietraly, the immigration police will not permit them to board a plane unless they have an exit visa, and they can only get an exit visa with the written permission of their sponsors (owners), and their sponsors are permitted to hold their passports. They are often made to work 7 days a week, dawn to late at night, they are paid a pittance if at all, many are abused and dont know where to turn for help. The situation is not much better for the Asian construction labourers on whose sweat and misery the great towers of the region have been built. All of us who live and enjoy the benefits of the region have a responsibility to speak up for change or accept a share of the guilt.

firaz 10 years ago

I am not too sure the exact reason why Indonesia is doing this. But it is nice feeling to see governments taking care of their citizens. and i wish more countries have the gutz to follow indonesia.

Roby 10 years ago

Well done Indonesia! Wish some of the other countries take similar action. Human beings are treated as commodities in some of these places.

abumishari 10 years ago

I do thank the Indonesian government for this action. This will help the Saudi people find jobs and reduce the overhead of running a health care in Saudi Arabia and also reduce some other illegal behaviors.

Ahmed 10 years ago

Well done Indonesia. This is good begining and the other Asian countries should follow the same. They should not allow their citizens to be humiliated any more by the rich but inhuman and merciless arabs. They treat the asians as animals. They are nill when it come to Human development Index. They are building their big towers and infrastructure on the sweat and misery of the poor Asian labourers but the labourers get only humiliation from them.

Sand Piper 10 years ago

You cant be serious, Saudi's doing the jobs that their Asian slaves used to do ? I dont think so.

Amitabh 10 years ago

Well done Government of Indonesia. You have done the noble thing by aserting your right to get humane treatmentfor your citizens working in the Gulf. I wish the Governments f these countries Saudi, Jordan and Kuwait take action againt this reprehensible practice of morden slavery!

Hamza Nihal 10 years ago

Speaking on behalf of some companies here in Saudi Arabia; there have been initiatives for better labor housing & treatment of these workers which have fallen on deaf ears until now, we are hoping this act will awaken the regulators and hopefully allow us to provide these workers with a better standard of living in the country. But what a wonderful bold move by Indonesia! These Middle East countries will realize their loss soon enough and will be forced to improve standards..I would urge other countries to follow suit and demand better healthcare & standard of living..

brit_in_saudi 10 years ago

If the Saudi people need jobs so much, and the healthcare cost is so high, why does the SAUDI government issue visas for overseas workers to enter the country? It is mainly Saudi nationals that are hiring Indonesian maids, yet it is Saudi nationals that are complaining they cannot get work because of them? In a democracy, the local people have a say in immigration policy. In Saudi the local people have no say in the running of their country, so can only blame the workers...

Vivilya 10 years ago

Finally!!this is what we are supposed do..Government, please also fight for your citizens who work in Malaysia and Singapore.We deserve better.