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10 December 2023

No plan to stop sending housemaids to Saudi

Picture for illustrative purpose only.

By Correspondent

The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) has said there were no plans to stop Sri Lankan women from going to Saudi Arabia as housemaids, despite pressure from women’s groups to discontinue the practice after the recent execution of housemaid Rizana Nafeek in the Gulf country.

There is no drop in the number of women interested in going to Saudi Arabia as housemaids even after Rizana’s execution, the chairman of SLBFE Amal Senadhilankara, told ‘Ceylon Today’ newspaper.

“Domestic workers are going to Saudi Arabia as usual and there is no plan to curtail or stop them from going. We have no reason to stop them as we work according to a policy. The policy change should come from the top and not from my organisation. I am a small person to make a big change,” he said.

He also warned of repercussions if maids are stopped from going. “If we take a drastic step to stop sending maids, the 600,000-odd workers in Saudi Arabia could be returned and that would create a major crisis,” he said.

According to a master plan drawn by the SLFBE Chairman and Minister of Foreign Employment and Promotion Dilan Perera they are in the process of identifying the weak and neglected areas pertaining to domestic workers to strengthen them to avoid major setbacks such as Rizana’s case.