For Immediate Release
November 15, 2013
HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN SAUDIA ARABIA
The Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW) is disturbed and seriously concerned by reports, pictures and video footages about the violence perpetrated against Ethiopian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia. Saudi authorities launched a crackdown on undocumented migrant workers following an amnesty which had expired. As a result of this crackdown, migrant workers, particularly Ethiopians, are facing beatings, abuse, torture, rape and death. They are thrown out on streets without shelter and food. Women are particularly abused and gang-raped in broad daylight.
Thousands of men and women from Ethiopia go to Saudi Arabia each year to seek work opportunities, but most of them have been subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment at the hands of their employers. They are treated like slaves. They don’t receive their salaries and their passports are confiscated. In many instances, they are deprived of sleep and work long hours. Many have sustained permanent injuries due to tortures such as beating by their employers. Some have taken their own lives when the situation became unbearable.
While the current new law, passed by Saudi government, should only result in deporting undocumented migrants, what has been witnessed in the last few days are gross human rights violations targeting Ethiopians. CREW condemns the racist, inhuman treatment of Ethiopian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia. We call on the Saudi government to stop this barbaric act against Ethiopian Migrant workers immediately. Those who have committed these crimes should be held responsible for their acts.
We also appeal to the international community and all human rights organizations to take this matter seriously and urge the Saudi government to stop torturing Ethiopian migrant workers. Ethiopian women are particularly in great danger of being abused and raped. The Saudi government should be accountable for the suffering of Ethiopian migrant workers. Currently thousands of Ethiopian migrant workers, including women and children are in detention camps with no food, water or medical attention. The workers have indicated that they want to return to their country. The Saudi government must send the workers safely to their country.
CREW is a non-government, non-profit, non-partisan, human rights and peace organization established to promote the social, economic and legal rights of Ethiopian women in Ethiopia and worldwide.
We can be reached at [email protected]