Every year tens of thousands of Kenyan women leave the country to work abroad, particularly to Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman where they work as nannies, cooks and house helps. But exploitation and abuse is rife, with many falling victim to trafficking and serious abuse at the hands of fake recruitment agencies and unscrupulous employers. A life in slavery in the Gulf.
Saudi Arabia is widely accused of having one of the worst human rights records in the world. Human rights issues that have attracted strong criticism include the extremely disadvantaged position of women, religious discrimination, the lack of religious freedom and the activities of the religious police. Saudi Arabia remains one of the very few countries in the world not to accept the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In response to the continuing criticism of its human rights record, the Saudi government points to the special Islamic character of the country, and asserts that this justifies a different social and political order.
NTV’S Rose Wangui spoke to families who lost their loved ones under unclear circumstances and women who told her about the physical and emotional scars they had experienced while trying to make a living abroad.
Image: U.S. Department of State