Saturday, 01 November 2014  -  08 Muharram 1436 H

Indonesian maids to return by month-end

RIYADH — The Indonesian government will allow its female domestic workers to return to the Kingdom from the end of April, according to a source at the Ministry of Labor.
The source said that talks between Riyadh and Jakarta are almost at an end. Negotiations are continuing between the two sides in Indonesia this week.
This will end a ban of over a year imposed by the Indonesian government after a series of high-profile cases involving the abuse of domestic workers by their sponsors in the Kingdom. The Philippines government has a similar ban in place.
Saudi Arabia imposed its own ban after rejecting stringent new criteria demanded by the governments of both countries. The Indonesian side has, for example, asked for all sponsors to provide police “good conduct” certificates, information and pictures of family members, other workers and house layouts. It also wants all its workers protected under International Labor Organization (ILO) regulations.
Talks are set to continue this week in Indonesia where Ahmed Al-Hemdan, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Labor, is leading a Saudi Arabian delegation to the 9th session of the Joint Saudi-Indonesian Committee.
Representatives from Saudi government agencies and a delegation of Saudi businessmen are participating in the meeting.
Last month Al-Hemdan attended meetings in the Philippines where he stressed on the importance of improving working conditions and salaries of foreign workers in host countries.
The meeting included representatives from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
The Indonesian recruitment costs are likely to range between SR9,000 and SR10,000 with a monthly salary of SR1,200. — Okaz/SG
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