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Ethiopia bans citizens from going for work in the UAE

Tigrai Online, July 25, 2012

Ethiopian domestic workers
Ethiopian domestic workers attend church services in Beirut, Lebanon

Ethiopia has banned its citizens from applying for domestic or blue-collar jobs in the UAE until an agreement can be reached to protect their rights.

The Ethiopian consul general said the freeze was a temporary move aimed at rooting out unscrupulous recruiters and abuse.

"We have suspended labour from Ethiopia to the UAE because a number of recruitment agencies are working illegally," said Mesganu Arga Moach. "We want an agreement with the UAE that ensures our nationals' rights.

"We receive five to 10 complaints a day from our citizens of abuse, unpaid salaries and people being beaten. It's bad."

The UAE Embassy in Addis Ababa said it was aware of the suspension.

"This is temporary to regulate and safeguard people," said Dr Yousif Eisa Hassan Alsabri, the UAE ambassador to Ethiopia.

"It is good for the UAE and for Ethiopia. We are studying the matter and will send a report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who will decide what to do."

The ban comes a week after Azeb Abebe, 24, an Ethiopian domestic worker, sustained burns to more than 80 per cent of her body in a kitchen gas explosion at her employer's house in Dubai.

Masood Salem, her employer, said the agency he went through had not mentioned any need for medical insurance. "It was in our plans to get medical insurance. We thought we will do it in time," he said.

Source: The National

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