Indians stranded in Saudi Arabia: All you need to know about the issue

Indians stranded in Saudi Arabia: All you need to know about the issue

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Nearly 10,000 Indians stuck in Saudi Arabia are set to be evacuated and provided with food in the meanwhile, Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister, informed the Parliament on Monday.

Minister of State, VK Singh, will be travelling to Saudi Arabia soon to oversee the operation, which involves airlifting people.

The minister was making a statement in the House after other members of Parliament (MPs) raised concerns over the plight of workers there.

Here’s a gist of the entire issue and the Centre’s issue to provide relief to such workers.

What is the issue?

The Saudi government was forced to cut its spending last year on the back of plummeting oil prices As a result, it created pressure on the financials of local construction companies. Such firms employ foreign workers and rely on state contracts. The resultant strain on the firms led to nearly 10,000 workers being laid off, and left them with no money to even eat food. More than 2,500 Indians are said to be living in labour camps with no food for the past 10 days.

Are Indian migrant workers treated well in normal circumstances?

No. Wrongful treatment by the employer is an open secret about these nations. Such workers, sometimes, are detained even after their work documents expire. They are usually paid very less or no salary for months together. The crux of the problem is the ‘kafala’ system. Under the system, migrant workers’ visas are tied to the employers so that they cannot change jobs without the consent of their employers, Human Rights Watch says. (more)

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