More safeguards for unskilled workers

New Delhi, September 3 :

The government is planning to put in place safeguards to help and prevent exploitation of unskilled workers, including housemaids, working overseas, says minister of overseas Indian affairs Vayalar Ravi.

“We are planning to put in place more strict regulations and restrictions on overseas employment of unskilled labour. This is to prevent their exploitation. Our ladies particularly must be protected,” Ravi said.

Indian embassies and consulates abroad have often received complaints from unskilled workers, especially domestic helps, about physical and mental harassment by their sponsors.

Recently an Indian housemaid was allegedly beaten up by her Bahraini sponsor and had to be hospitalised after she started vomiting blood. The woman from Kerala said her employer abused her repeatedly since she arrived in the kingdom two months ago.

“We have set up a committee of secretaries to formulate a new set of regulations that would

require the unskilled workers taking up jobs overseas to get themselves registered with the Indian consulate or embassy in the country,” the minister said.

“Unless such steps are taken it would be difficult for the government to provide timely help.”

Hopeful of the committee coming up with its set of recommendations and regulations soon, the minister said the idea is to have the workers overseas maintain contact with the Indian embassy or consulate on a regular basis.