The issues making the news in recent times especially on social media are so alarming, very unfortunate and shocking. Audios and videos portray black people, especially girls mostly from Ghana and other African countries being physically abused, tortured, poisoned, while some are killed and cut into pieces.
The Ghanaian government must sit up and put things in order before it gets out of hand. The authorities must be up and doing to put this barbaric and inhumane treatment against our fellow Ghanaians who only travelled to seek greener pastures in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan and other Middle East nations to an end.
I totally disagree with the Saudi Consulate to Ghana’s warning of mass deportation of Ghanaians from Saudi. The point is, there are victims who are suffering in people’s homes, who are being physically and sexually abused on daily basis and there are others who are locked up inside the houses of their masters.
How do you expect these girls and boys who are confined in houses to hear this announcement? Most of them do not have access to phones, TVs, radios or any other media. Who will tell them to respond to this announcement?
Until the Ghanaian government steps up its efforts to resolve this problem, our people will continually be killed like dogs on foreign lands.
These people were deceived by local travel agents; they were promised good jobs, accommodation and other stuff.
Sharon Buchbinder, a reporter of TIM, an online journal, April 27th, 2015 edition, wrote in his article entitled “Sex, Lies and Crime: Human Trafficking in the Middle East” that the slogans of these trafficking businesses is: “Three Cs Domestic Services: Cleaning, Cooking and Confinement". In 2013, the Walk Free Global Index of Slavery estimated that “2.54% or approximately three-quarters of a million people were enslaved in the Middle East and North Africa.”
Ghanaians and people from Ethiopia, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Eritrea, and other countries travel voluntarily to some Middle East countries for lucrative jobs they were promised by travel and tour agencies, these lucrative jobs include construction work, oil and gas and transportation industries.
Upon entering the country, the victims find themselves deceived and enslaved within the bounds of a legal sponsorship system.
This system, also known as kafala, brings workers into those countries, their passports are taken away from them at the airport when they arrive and are given directly to the employment agency or employer along with other identification documents.
It is believed that the victims who finds themselves as domestic workers usually labour in isolation in homes and they are subject to confinement, long working hours, food deprivation, sleeping on floors, lack of privacy or the ability to communicate with people outside the household, withholding of wages, and physical, psychological and sexual abuse. If they complain to the police, their employers mostly accuse them of running away and stealing.
The victims are then incarcerated by the law enforcement agencies in those countries. Running away is a risky proposition because if the victims are unable to reach an embassy or an NGO, they may be arrested and detained for long periods of time. Lacking passports and exit papers, runaway victims are at the mercy of criminals who exploit their illegal status and force them into prostitution or begging. For many domestic workers, there is no way out and no way home.
I have personally stopped many people, some young and energetic youth, who were approached by agents to deceive and send them to work as slaves in those countries from travelling.
I suggest that government must ban all radio and TV adverts of agents who seek to recruit artisans and other professionals to the Middle East for a lucrative jobs because they only end up selling those individuals as slaves, house helps, etc. Ghana-Saudi authorities must find a lasting solution to this menace.
The Ghanaian government in consultation with Consulates from Saudi and others must ban the issuing of mass visas facilitated by travel and tour agents and agencies behalf of these innocent citizens. All these agents must be identified and arrested. If possible those embassies must be shut down temporarily until this menace is tackled thoroughly.
Advice from my colleagues to all Ghanaian youth: if you are not going to Saudi for tourism, pilgrimage or to take up a professional work, do not pay money to anyone to send you to any Arab country. You will not get what those agencies promise you. test
Source: Owusu Nyarko-Boateng/ghanaweb
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