Saudi Arabia seeks to cancel “bail” … Elements that must be addressed to end this “abusive system”


The Saudi authorities are seeking to abolish their sponsorship system, which is considered the most complex in the Gulf countries, as it makes about 10 million foreign workers linked to the employer, which facilitates abuse and treatment, including forced labor, according to the organizationHuman Rights Watch“.

The organization considered that in order for Saudi Arabia to be able to remove the “notorious” sponsorship system, which preserves “all elements of abuse,” the following five elements must be removed:

– It is not possible to enter the country without a sponsor (the employer).
The authority of employers to insure, renew residency, and their ability to cancel work permits at any time.
– The worker is unable to leave or change his job without the consent of the sponsoring employer.
– The “escape crime”, which allows employers to report the disappearance of a worker, thus exposing him to the risk of arrest and deportation.
The form of the exit permit, which prevents the worker from leaving the country without the employer’s consent.

The Mal Economic newspaper said in a report published last Tuesday that Saudi Arabia is moving towards canceling the sponsorship system in the country for expatriates, according to Reuters news agency.

The newspaper’s report indicated that this matter will be announced next week, by which it will cancel a system that has worked in the Kingdom for 70 years, to regulate the relationship between employers and expatriates.

The newspaper suggested that this matter will take effect in the first half of 2021.

Human Rights Watch indicated that the sponsorship system has led to hundreds and thousands of work without official documents, as coercion by employers has resulted in this situation, and their workers flee from abuse even if they lose their papers.

She added that workers have only limited powers to file complaints against employers regarding their residency, entry and exit from the kingdom, and changing jobs, noting that female domestic workers are imprisoned in homes and are subjected to physical and sexual assault.

In conclusion, the organization stressed that “if Saudi Arabia wants to abolish the sponsorship system, it must address each of these elements and ensure that all migrant workers are able to enter, reside in, or leave the country without being at the mercy of the individual employer or company.” .


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