Saudis constitute 89% of child workers

Updated 12 October 2015

Saudis constitute 89% of child workers

DAMMAM: About 89 percent of child workers in the country are Saudis, according to a recent study conducted by the University of Qassim.

The study, entitled “Factors Associated with Child Labor in Saudi Society,” warned of the serious consequences of children working. It found that 70 percent of Saudi workers have illiterate parents, 30 percent have literate parents, and 74 percent are between the ages of 12 and 14.
According to the study, 48 percent of working children have stopped their education at the preparatory stage, followed by 37 percent at the primary level, while 7 percent dropped out of high school.
The study conducted by Yusuf Ahmed Al-Romaih, head of the social service department at the university, aimed to identify the causes of the situation, including looking at the labor market, socioeconomic conditions and home environment of these children. He spoke to children working at the vegetable and fruit markets in Qassim.
“The study included about 100 Saudi children aged between 8 and 15. It revealed that 49 percent of respondents live in a large family of over eight members, followed by the children living in a medium-sized family.”
“Seventy-seven percent of those children’s families depend on the income of the household head, 22 percent depend on their children’s income, and 17 percent on charities,” he said.
Moreover, 79 percent of the respondents’ families live in rented houses while 21 percent of them live with other families in shared dwellings. He said 54 percent of them sell vegetables, 38 percent work as delivery boys, while 8 percent of them work as street vendors.
In addition, the study showed that 42 percent of the children spend four to eight hours a day outside the home, 40 percent spend eight to 12 hours, while 10 percent spend more than 12 hours outside the home.
According to the researcher, 43 percent of child workers make SR50 a day, while the rest work for lower salaries.
Al-Romaih said the country needs a strategy to combat poverty, which would prevent children from having to work to support their families. He said there should be a database developed on the extent of child labor in the country.

First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

Updated 17 July 2019

First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

  • 4,000 to partake in this year’s pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia increased quota

COLOMBO: Nearly 180 Sri Lankan Hajj pilgrims left for Saudi Arabia on Monday night, but not before thanking the Kingdom for the comprehensive facilities offered to them.

Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Haleem, Sri Lanka’s minister of postal services and Muslim religious affairs, said that this year’s issuing of Hajj visas was smooth due to the new e-Hajj services introduced by the Saudi government. 

“We were able to process all 4,000 Hajj visas efficiently. All of them were issued well in time,” Haleem said.

He added that officials from his ministry will be available at the airport to assist the pilgrims with their departures.

The minister said the flights of pilgrims this year will be ferried by both Saudi Arabian Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines. Haleem, who intends to participate in this year’s Hajj, said that the last flight of Sri Lankan pilgrims will leave Colombo on Aug. 7.

Sajjath Mohammed, a journalist from Madawala News, praised the e-Hajj service, saying: “The biometric services for the visas were available to pilgrims in Kandy and Batticaloa in addition to Colombo, the capital of the island.”

Rizmi Reyal, president of the International Airline Ticketing Academy in Sri Lanka, said that this year the Hajj services from Colombo have been enhanced to give a better experience to the pilgrims. He thanked the Saudi government, the Muslim Religious Affairs Ministry in Colombo, the Saudi Embassy in Colombo and the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh for playing their part in these improvements.

The Sri Lankan government will also send a medical team to attend to any urgent needs of the pilgrims before they are taken to the nearest medical facilities in the two holy cities.