Stricter rules for Gulf-bound women workers

Stricter rules for Gulf-bound women workers

Govt tightens immigration rules to protect them from exploitation

Union Cabinet Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, Vayalar Ravi, on Thursday said at the Rajya Sabha that the government has undertaken a series of measures to safeguard the interests of women.

This includes imposing an age bar of 30 years for allowing them to travel to the Gulf and some other regions for employment, under the Emigration Check Required (ECR) category.

This apart, attestation of the employment contract by Indian missions has been made compulsory.

The missions will also require to identify the employer before allowing any woman to go the region for work.

Complaints received

“Indian missions in the region receive complaints from women workers, particularly housemaids, regarding non-payment of salaries, long working hours, inadequate living conditions, physical harassment and refusal of leave,” he said. As per the ministry guidelines, every employer is required to provide the household workers a pre-paid mobile connection.“If the foreign employer recruits the worker directly, he is required to deposit USD 2,500 (Rs 1.3 lakh) as security, with the Indian Mission,” said Ravi.

As per the rules, ECR clearance is mandatory for undergraduates seeking overseas employment in 17 countries including United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Malaysia, Libya, Jordan, Yemen, Sudan, Brunei, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Syria, Lebanon and Thailand.