A Walk in Support of Ethiopia Women Dometic Workers in th Middle East Countries
October 8, 2012
A WALK IN SUPPORT OF ETHIOPIAN WOMEN DOMESTIC WORKERS IN THE MIDDLE EAST COUNTRIES
The Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW), an organization created to promote the rights of Ethiopian women worldwide, has organized a WALK to be held on October 20, 2012. The walk will originate at Freedom Plaza, 14th & Pennsylvania in Washington D.C. goes to the U.S. Capitol and back to Freedom Plaza. The purpose of the walk is to create awareness about the plight of Ethiopian women domestic workers in the Middle Eastern countries who are living under deplorable and slave-like conditions. .
The international community became alarmed about the situations of Ethiopian women domestic workers in Middle East countries after a video of Alem Dechasa, an Ethiopian domestic worker, being hit, grabbed, shoved, and unwillingly dragged into a car in front of the Ethiopian consulate in Beirut was released in Lebanon in March 2012. That video shocked the world. It was later reported Alem committed suicide. Alem, however, was only one among a vast number of Ethiopian women domestic workers who were killed or have committed suicide in the Middle East countries.
Over the past decade the number of Ethiopian women domestic workers in the Middle East has increased dramatically and is unlikely to stop any time soon. For most of these women, leaving Ethiopia and working as domestic workers in the Middle East is the only hope of paid work and most assume the opportunity is their ticket out of poverty. Unfortunately, once they arrive at their destination countries and start working they are subjected to various forms of human rights abuses by their employers. The abuses include physical, psychological, sexual, labor exploitation, and restriction on their right to movement. Furthermore, they are not given any form of protection by their own government and the host countries.
CREW would like to take this opportunity to appreciate all groups and organizations demanding justice for all Ethiopian domestic workers who are suffering in the Middle East countries. CREW has launched a campaign urging the international community to work towards stopping the abuses of Ethiopian domestic workers in the Middle East, and its campaign is to get the voices of these women, who are yearning for safety and protection, be heard. To that end,
- all governments to enact laws that protect the rights of foreign workers.
- the Ethiopian government to :
- evaluate the safety of all Ethiopian domestic workers in the Middle East counties before they send thousands of more workers.
- require host countries to introduce a standard employment contract to provide domestic workers with labor protection same as any other workers.
- monitor recruitment agencies and demand they provide protection to the domestic workers against any form of violence. If any violence is committed against Ethiopian domestic workers, the Ethiopian government must be able to provide shelter to those who need it until they return to Ethiopia.
- investigate the cause of death of deceased domestic workers.
CREW further calls upon human rights and women’s organizations in the Middle East countries to work with us to avert further tragedy.
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