31 July 2016
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 11/08/2011, 00.00

    INDIA – MIDDLE EAST

    Indian migrant workers exploited and enslaved in Arab countries



    More than a million Indians live in the Gulf region. Often, employers take away their papers, including residency permits, forcing them to live as illegal aliens. Each year, thousands of migrants go missing. A Kerala TV station airs their cases and helps families find their loved ones.
    Mumbai (AsiaNews/ Agencies) – More than a million Indians live and work in the Gulf region. Many of them are exploited or forced to live in slave-like condition, undocumented. According to a recent report by Al-Jazeera, thousands of migrant workers have gone missing after their visas expired. Often, employers take away their passports in order to force them to work underground without an opportunity to go home and with the constant danger of being arrested by police.

    For the past 11 years, Rafeek Ravuther has directed and produced Pravasi Lokam or "Migrants World’, a weekly programme broadcast on Kairali TV, a Malayalam-language station based in Kerala, southern India. In it, he tells the story of the hardships Indian workers face in Arab countries. His programme also helps families find their missing relatives.

    For millions of migrants from Kerala working in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Oman, Pravasi Lokam has become a must-see programme. Most of its protagonists are men, husband and sons who simply go missing.

    Over the past 30 years, millions of Indian women have become “Gulf wives”, left to raise their children on their own and entirely dependent on remittances from their overseas spouses.

    When things go wrong, these women have nowhere to turn and no safety net to fall back on. Among the stories told one stands out, that of Govindan Gopalakrishnan who disappeared 23 years ago.

    In 1983, Govindan left Kerala for Bahrain to work as a carpenter. Instead, when he arrived he was forced to work as a domestic servant. After two years he fled his Arab sponsor and ended up working on a camel farm deep in the desert of Bahrain. However, his original Arab sponsor filed charges against him and he eventually ended up in jail.

    It was his second employer at the camel farm that got Gopalakrishnan out of jail and took him back to work. There he stayed for years, unable to contact his family on his meagre salary or send money home.

    He toiled every day for 19 years, not knowing that he was undocumented for most of them. His second Arab sponsor at the camel farm refused to release him or allow him to visit his family. It was not until he was too old and frail, in his 60s, that his employer decide to let him go.

    In 2006, the Pravasi Lokam team got in touch with his family. After negotiations with Bahraini authorities and with the help of Keralite community in Bahrain, US$ 4,370 were raised to pay a fine for unpaid immigration fees. Now, friends and well-wishers are raising money to buy him a plane ticket to come home.

    The programme has 17 representatives in the Gulf who can be contacted for help. Their phone numbers and contact details are scrolled across the screen as missing cases are reported.

    The programme has aired more than 1,300 cases since it began, but has only been able to reunite around 320 families.
    e-mail this to a friend Printable version










    See also

    22/02/2011 BAHRAIN
    Government supporters take to the streets as opposition refuses to back down
    A big demonstration is held in support of the regime and national unity at the al Fateh Mosque. The Bahrain Grand Prix of 13 March is officially cancelled. A young man dies from the injuries he suffered in last Thursday’s rally in Pearl Square. The Philippines is starting to limit departures to the Gulf region.

    07/09/2004 SAUDI ARABIA
    A catacomb Church? Perhaps, but one that is alive and well . . . and universal

    Interview with Mgr Paul Hinder, Auxiliary Bishop of Arabia.



    09/01/2015 NEPAL
    Pope's message for peace useful to free Nepali slaves in Arab Gulf
    Nepali authorities share Francis' position on "slave labour" and hope to influence Kuwaiti authorities who have blocked the repatriation of 135 Nepali women. Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE are the most common destinations for unskilled migrant workers, the first victims of human trafficking.

    04/09/2008 GULF – IRAN
    Gulf Council backs UAE against Iran
    Six Arab countries call on Tehran to remove illegally built offices on Abu Musa Island and open talks over sovereignty. Iran’s reply is full of scorn.

    25/11/2006 BAHRAIN
    For the first time all citizens to vote for parliament
    In the 2002 elections widespread protest led to a low turnout. This year's campaign saw intense rivalry between Sunnis and Shiites. Whatever happens experts believe the country will be different. All candidates pledge change.



    Editor's choices

    POLAND - CHINA - WYD
    Beijing's tricks and violence to stop Chinese youth from reaching WYD

    Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi

    The government yesterday blocked a group of 50 young pilgrims who had already boarded a plane bound for Krakow. Interrogated for hours by immigration, they were "admonished" and sent home with orders not to contact anyone abroad. Meanwhile, "young Chinese Catholics" hang around central World Youth Day locations in groups of five or six, with the task of spying on fellow countrymen. They work for cultural institutes or Chinese companies in Poland.


    ISLAM - EUROPE
    Fr Samir: Islamic terror in France and Germany a crisis of integration, but above all of politics

    Samir Khalil Samir

    The kidnapping and murder of a priest near Rouen (France) and the various attacks in Würzburg, Munich, Ansbach (Germany) were carried out by young people, who were indoctrinated with ease. Germany was a model for the integration of refugees. But radical Islam cannot be assimilated. It is supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. There is no other road other than integration. But we must tell the truth: the Koran contains elements of war and violence. Western politicians suffer from ignorance and a loss of all moral sentiment.


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®