‘We lie on the floor till someone buys us’: shocking allegations of UAE agencies’ abuse of domestic workers. Women interviewed by The Guardian have shared harrowing stories of abuse, captivity, and exploitation within UAE’s recruitment agencies. These women, aspiring to work as domestic helpers in the UAE, revealed a distressing ordeal that involves being detained in deplorable living conditions, while unscrupulous recruiters market them over various apps and social media platforms to prospective employers.
Over several years, 14 women hailing from East Africa and the Philippines recounted their nightmarish encounters with recruitment agencies, disclosing appalling conditions such as food deprivation, forced captivity, and physical abuse.
Furthermore, The Guardian has obtained evidence suggesting that these women are being subjected to an “exploitative” system reminiscent of modern-day slavery. According to experts, employers are being charged less for the services of black domestic workers and are even told that they do not need to provide them with proper living quarters.
The women’s heart-wrenching testimonies offer a rare glimpse into the plight of domestic workers awaiting job placement in agency accommodations, living in limbo until an employer selects them. This grueling process can stretch over several months, with women often returning to the agencies at the employer’s whim, perpetuating their vulnerability and despair.
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