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    » 06/10/2011, 00.00


    Sri Lankan women workers face daily rape in Jordanian factory

    Melani Manel Perera

    Women are abused, raped and tortured, according to a report by the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights. Anyone who refuses sexual advances is fired and sent home. The main offender is also from Sri Lanka.

    Colombo (AsiaNews) – In Jordan, young female workers employed in a garment factory have been the victims of rape, sexual abuse and torture on regular basis, this according to a report titled “Sexual predators and serial rapists run wild at Wal-Mart supplier in Jordan” by the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights.

    The document notes that the Sri Lankan Foreign Employment Bureau has received 300 complaints, all against the factory’s general manager, Anil Santha, who is also Sri Lankan. But he was not alone. “Women who refuse the sexual advances of Classic's managers are also beaten and deported”. What is more, Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Labour was aware of the sexual abuse as early as 2007, but did nothing.

    Classic Fashion, the company involved, is Jordan’s largest garment export factory and a major supplier for clothing stores like Wal-Mart, Target, Macy’s and Hanes.

    “One Bangladeshi worker recently deported from the Classic factory said that, ‘all the workers of Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh . . . everybody will testify that this particular manager raped the Sri Lankan women,” the report quotes her as saying.

    In October 2010, 2,400 Sri Lankan and Indian workers went on strike demanding the removal of the alleged rapist.  Classic's owner sent this particular manager away, but he returned after one month. 

    “On the weekly holiday, the alleged serial rapist [. . .] sends a van to bring four or five young women to his hotel, where he abuses them,” witnesses said.

    In addition to regular insults and injury, the women are also short-changed of their wages if they fail to meet mandatory production goals. Thus, on average, they end up earning “a take-home wage of just 61 cents an hour.”

    With a standard shift of 13 hours a day, six days a week, managers are said to abuse workers to push them to work even faster.

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    See also

    Christian Filipino migrants forced to convert to Islam
    A Filipino nurse with ten years in Saudi Arabia talks about the dramatic situation of Christian workers, forced to embrace Islam just to keep their job. Despite abuses and violence, migrants still choose the Middle East because of the availability of work.

    Saudi Arabia, 70% of Filipino domestic workers suffer physical and psychological violence
    Revealed by research of the Committee on Overseas Workers Welfare. The cases of rape suffered by Filipino young people are on the agenda. To avoid an increase in wages, the government of Riyadh bans unskilled workers from the Philippines and Indonesia.

    08/03/2008 PAKISTAN
    Almost 20 women raped, killed, or fall to suicide every day
    On International Women's Day, experts highlight the difficult situation of women in Pakistan. Those who suffer sexual violence are arrested, and abuse in the workplace is frequent.

    21/09/2013 PAKISTAN
    Lahore , Christians and Muslims protest against sexual violence against children
    Protests organized by Cecil Chaudhry & Iris Foundation, an independent NGO inspired by the memory of the Pakistani Catholic leader, who died in 2012. They demand justice for a five year old girl, kidnapped and abused several times , and for all the victims of violence.

    31/03/2006 CHINA
    Police rescue workers "treated worse than slaves"

    They were forced to work for more than 18 hours a day without pay. At night they were locked up in a brickyard to stop them from escaping.

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