From Associated Press:
Reforms undertaken by governments in the Middle East to protect domestic workers from abuse are insufficient to shield women working as house maids from abuse and violence, Human Rights Watch said Thursday.
Millions of mostly Asian women who work in countries like Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates remain at risk of human trafficking, forced labor, confinement and sexual violence, the New York-based group said.
Although several governments have made improvements for migrant domestic workers in the past five years, reform has been slow and incremental, Nisha Varia, the group's senior researcher of women's rights told The Associated Press.
Women working in private homes often work 20-hour days, face forced confinement and are sometimes physically and sexually abused, the report said.
Their passports are confiscated upon arrival, leaving employers in full control of their house maids' lives under what is known as a "sponsorship system."
The custom remains the biggest factor contributing to abuse, leaving women trapped in abusive situations since they are not allowed to legally change an employer, HRW said.