Amid reports of exploitation of Indian workers by unscrupulous agents and employers in Saudi Arabia,Riyadh today asked India to raise awareness among its workers about their rights and obligations before they arrive in the kingdom for work.
“We urge India to raise the awareness of its workers before they leave the country for Saudi Arabia,to disseminate information to the workers what are their obligations and what are their rights,” the Saudi Labour Minister Abdulwahed K Al-Humaid said here.
Al-Humaid was in Washington to attend the first-ever meeting of Labour and Employment ministers of the G-20 countries. The two-day conference concluded yesterday.
The minister said that some workers do not know their rights and thus they are exploited and also put the blame on the Indian agencies that hire people in India for this kind of exploitations.
“Before workers come to Saudi Arabia,they sign contract with the Indian agencies. Agencies give them false information. They promise them that they will give them certain salary. And these agencies sign different contract with employer. So some of the disputes come because we have two contracts,” he observed.
“Whenever I meet Ambassadors from the sending countries,I urge them to raise the awareness of their workers about their rights,before they come to Saudi Arabia,” he said.
He said that the his Ministry prints brochures in local languages of these countries and request their embassies in Saudi Arabia to distribute them to their people before they come to Saudi Arabia.
“We do not want them to be subject to exploitation due to lack of information or misunderstanding. Because if I am an owner of a factory and I sign a contract that the salary for example is 1,000 Riyal,but the Indian workers sign with the Indian agency another contract stating that the salary is 2,000 Riyal,” he said.
“We have more than two million Indian workers,” he said,adding that this is mutually beneficial for both the countries.
“On the one hand Indian workers are contributing to the economic development of Saudi Arabia and we appreciate that.
On the other hand,we are offering job opportunities to two million Indian people. Therefore,we are benefiting the Indian economy and relieving the unemployment problem in India,” Al-Humaid said.