Exploited dreams - Dispatches from Indian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia has attracted more low-paid Indian migrants over the last 25 years than any other country in the Gulf region. Every day, close to 1,000 Indian low-wage migrant workers are provided with emigration clearances to travel to Saudi Arabia. They are recruited to work in cafeterias, supermarkets, construction sites, and guest houses; they sweep streets, cook in restaurants, and serve in households as domestic workers. Together, they send close to 500 billion INR (approximately 8.2 billion USD) back to India every year. Remittances to Kerala account for nearly a third of the state’s net domestic product. However, Indian migrant workers can often face exploitation and deception in the pre-departure phase in India which contribute to serious human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia.