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  • » 06/09/2011, 00.00

    NEPAL

    Nepali women victims of prostitution and slavery in Arab countries

    Kalpit Parajuli

    Hundreds of women emigrated for work to Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan and other Islamic countries, and have not been heard from for years. Those who succeed in returning home shows signs of physical exhaustion, injuries and are often infected with AIDS.

    Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - Hundreds of Nepalese women who emigrate to Arab countries in search of better jobs and wages, are unaccounted for. According to husbands and relatives they become victims of prostitution and slavery. The migrants who manage to return, show signs of physical exhaustion, injuries, psychological damage and are often infected with AIDS. To resolve this tragic situation, the Government of Nepal wants to block migration to Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan where most cases are registered. In 2010, 242 women emigrated for work and were never heard of again.

    Devi Lal Sunar, from the village of Sanoshree (Bardia district), has had no news of his wife Shanti in three years and is concerned about her safety. "Ten years ago - he says - a neighbour convinced my wife to leave for Kuwait, helping her to migrate across India." Devi said that the last contact with his wife Shanti took place about three years ago. On the phone she said that the landlord did not allow her to leave, that he tortured and beat her when she tried to contact the house and did not give her a salary. "I called Kuwait several times - he says - a voice with an Indian accent always answers and refuses to let me speak to my wife." The man claims to have done everything to bring his wife home, and in recent years has sold most of his property and now has no money to feed his two children.

    Lila Thapa, a woman of 35, recently returned to her village of Katarn (Bardia), after seven years working as a maid in Kuwait. "Working in Arab countries is very risky and difficult - she says - cases of abuse and exploitation are rife." The woman points out that she had never been sexually abused, however, she claims to have been exploited and poorly paid for all her stay in Kuwait.

    According to Maiti Nepal, an association against the trafficking of women, alleged disappearance are still rising. In eight years we have gone from three cases in 2002 to 242 in 2010. The growth is mainly due to increased migration to the Arab countries that attract women aged 25 to 35 years with jobs as nurses, domestic helpers and caregivers. However, many of them are sold as prostitutes in brothels or are employed in private homes as domestic servants-slaves and subjected to constant abuse by employers.
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    See also

    28/10/2005 VATICAN
    Migrant women are a sign of our times, says pope

    The pope issues a message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. Migrants are "vulnerable", especially women, who are sometimes enslaved and "used" by the sex industry, and the Christian community is called to be committed to assisting them. Concern is also voiced about problems linked to access of migrants to host countries rather than the reasons which prompted them to leave their homes.



    20/12/2013 NEPAL
    Nepal, migrants' money sustains the economy . At the cost of slavery and violence
    € 3.2 billion per year remittances from migrant workers account for 24% of the local economy . In five years, more than 2630 Nepalese have died in mysterious circumstances in Arab countries .

    11/09/2014 NEPAL
    Nepal, government to migrants: Choose Christian nations, they will treat you better
    The Kathmandu Minister of Labour announces a program to convince those who have to emigrate to choose Europe or America. From A “coffin arrives on average every day” from Arab nations, “fellow citizens who have died from torture and exploitation." An army of two million Nepalese live in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.

    11/07/2006 ARAB EMIRATES
    Emirates anti-slavery law throws camel races into crisis

    In this sport, a favourite among Bedouins, children, often kidnapped or sold by poor families, are forced to be jockeys in the races.



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    Last year Dhaka and Riyadh signed an agreement to send 120 thousand workers to Arabia. In 2015, 20,952 women left for Arabia, but many have already returned. They recounted stories of abuse and threats, domestic slaves by day, sex slaves by night. Saudi recruiter: "We love Bangladeshi women because they are Muslim and wear a headscarf."





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