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Wed 17 Feb 2016 01:00 PM

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Saudi Arabia ‘to clamp down on trading of housemaids’

Criminals are advertising domestic workers that ran away from past employers

Saudi Arabia ‘to clamp down on trading of housemaids’
(Getty Images - Photo for illustrative purpose only)

The Ministry of Labor in Saudi Arabia has announced plans to crack down on illicit trading of domestic workers, according to local media.

Labour minister Mufrej Al Haqabani told officials that criminals are placing vacancies for housemaids in local newspapers.

However, these maids have often run away from previous Saudi homes so are technically still employed.

This makes recruiting them to new posts unlawful, he said, according to a report in Arab News.

Al Haqabani urged citizens to report such adverts to the authorities and asked media houses to check the source of the adverts before publication.

A total of 86,549 domestic workers ran away from their workplaces in 2014, the newspaper reported. Forty percent of those were males.

That same year, 493,125 male workers and 354,802 female workers received visas to work as housemaids.

It is thought that criminals are luring housemaids away from their present jobs with false promises of more lucrative work, it was reported.