Ethiopia lifts ban on domestic workers moving overseas

Ethiopia lifts ban on domestic workers moving overseas
Ethiopians attend a religious festival in Addis Ababa on January 19, 2018. Ethiopia has lifted a ban on domestic workers moving overseas after passing a new law to guard against ill-treatment. (AFP / ZACHARIAS ABUBEKER)
Updated 02 February 2018

Ethiopia lifts ban on domestic workers moving overseas

Ethiopia lifts ban on domestic workers moving overseas

ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopia has lifted a ban on domestic workers moving overseas after passing a new law to guard against ill-treatment, a government official said Thursday.
Africa’s second-most populous country instituted the ban five years ago following reports of abuse, and complaints that employment agencies lured Ethiopians into working abroad in illegal and appalling conditions.
Abebe Haile, a director at the labor ministry, said the new law regulates employment agencies that connect jobless Ethiopians with work in foreign countries.
The government has also opened training centers for low-skilled workers heading abroad.
“Taking these preparations into account, this ban has been lifted, so we’re now ready to start the overseas employment services,” Abebe told a press conference.
Ethiopia is one of the continent’s poorest countries and, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO), a major source of migrants particularly to the Middle East, where there were around 460,000 Ethiopian workers in 2013 when the ban came into force.
At the time reports of worker abuse were rampant, including a video that emerged online showing an Ethiopian maid in Lebanon being dragged by her hair in public by her employers. She later killed herself in hospital.
While some Ethiopians work legally in the Middle East, others travel without visas despite having to cross through war-torn Yemen and risk a perilous boat trip across the Gulf of Aden.
Last week at least 30 people drowned when a boat carrying Somali and Ethiopian migrants capsized off Yemen’s coast.
Saudi Arabia — a popular destination for Ethiopian migrants — has carried out mass deportations of illegal foreign workers in the past few years.
Riyadh last year announced it would begin deporting illegal migrants again and Ethiopia’s foreign ministry told state media that more than 14,000 of its citizens have been repatriated since November.
Abebe said Ethiopia has signed bilateral agreements with Kuwait, Jordan and Qatar to govern the flow of low-skilled workers, and is working on agreements with other nations.


Weather warnings issued across Saudi Arabia until Saturday

Saudi civil defense called on the public to be wary of the potential dangers of the severe weather conditions and to avoid places where torrents gather. Pictured the Eastern Province. (File/SPA)
Saudi civil defense called on the public to be wary of the potential dangers of the severe weather conditions and to avoid places where torrents gather. Pictured the Eastern Province. (File/SPA)
Updated 14 min 27 sec ago

Weather warnings issued across Saudi Arabia until Saturday

Saudi civil defense called on the public to be wary of the potential dangers of the severe weather conditions and to avoid places where torrents gather. Pictured the Eastern Province. (File/SPA)
  • Some areas should expect heavy rain that may lead to torrential flows and flooding

RIYADH: Weather warnings have been issued for several regions across Saudi Arabia starting from Wednesday until Saturday, the Kingdom’s civil defense said on Tuesday.
The authority warned of thunderstorms with light to moderate rain and brisk winds in the capital Riyadh, the Eastern Province, the Northern Borders Province, Jawf, Tabuk, and Qassim. It also warned some areas will experience heavy rain that may lead to torrential flows and flooding.
The civil defense also warned of thunderstorms with moderate rain and brisk winds in Makkah, Madinah and Hail.
The warnings were issued based on data received from the National Center of Meteorology.
The civil defense called on everyone to be wary of the severe conditions, to stay away from places that could flood, and to abide by the civil defense’s instructions and updates announced through media and social media outlets.