The Global Heroes


17th April 2023 By The Global Heroes Migration

An initiative to transfer 500,000 women between the ages of 18 and 40 to Saudi Arabia to work as domestic servants has been initiated by the Ethiopian government. Orientation sessions are directly overseen in rural places by public officials, including deputy mayors, according to administrative records reviewed by Al Jazeera. Returnees are also being recruited alongside new hires. Previously, blue-collar employment in the Middle East were largely organized for Ethiopians by local Ethiopian recruiting firms or human traffickers. Due of the COVID-19 epidemic, the Ethiopian government has temporarily stopped labor travel from Ethiopia to Saudi Arabia in early 2020. 

The large deployment of Ethiopian laborers has apparently been requested by the Saudi government. Migrant laborers in Saudi Arabia may make 1,000 riyals ($266) per month, which is higher than the majority of occupations available in Ethiopia, where the per capita annual GDP was $925 in 2021. 

The Ethiopian government is portraying the recruiting effort as a life-saving initiative by emphasizing the hazards that Ethiopian migrants encounter on risky treks via migrant corridors through Yemen and Djibouti. Nevertheless, despite legal changes in 2021, many migrant laborers continue to be exempt from Saudi Arabia's labor laws and susceptible under the "kafala" or sponsorship system, which has been compared to modern-day slavery. 

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