Saudi to hire 100,000 Indian maids in 2014

Saudi Arabia is planning to bring nearly 100,000 Indian domestic workers in 2014 following their recent agreement on the recruitment of housemaids.

The maids would be brought to families in the Gulf Kingdom through labor recruitment offices which have been asked to abide by the agreement signed between the two countries a few weeks ago, a newspaper said.

“Sources at the Saudi labor ministry said there are plans to issue nearly 100,000 visas for Indian housemaids this year…this number will increase next year in case the process is successful,” 'Sharq Al Awsat' daily said.

Officials said last week the agreement stipulated that all Indian domestic workers to be sent to the world’s dominant oil exporter must be aged between 25 and 50 years.

Ahmed Al Faheed, Saudi labor ministry undersecretary for international affairs, said Indian maids would be subject to a crash course by recruitment offices in each of the Subcontinent’s states before they are sent to Saudi Arabia.

Fuhaid told local newspapers the agreement signed with India stipulated that domestic workers coming to work in the Kingdom must have a “good conduct and police clearance” certificate, undergo medical examination and attend training courses to learn about social habits and traditions in Saudi Arabia.

More than 1.5 million housemaids from the Philippines, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and other Asian and African nations work in Saudi Arabia, the largest Arab economy and the world’s dominant oil exporter.

The Kingdom has been under fire from local and foreign human rights groups over the death of some housemaids, who have been reportedly killed by their employers. Pressure mounted in late 2010 following news that an Indonesian housemaid was severely tortured by its female employer.

Saudi Arabia and India maintain strong political, economic and trade links, with their bilateral commercial exchange reaching nearly $44 billion during 2012-2013.

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