Many complaints against harassment

55,119 complaints of exploitation from Indians in nine nations

August 03, 2016 02:21 am | Updated September 20, 2016 11:38 am IST - New Delhi:

The retrenchment of thousands of workers in Saudi Arabia is not wholly unexpected for the External Affairs Ministry. In its reply to an “un-starred” question in the Lok Sabha on July 20, Minister of State for External Affairs Gen. V.K. Singh (retd.) said that of the 55,119 complaints of “ill-treatment and exploitation” of Indian workers in nine nations from 2014 till date, 87 per cent were from the Gulf countries.

An analysis of Ministry data by, a Mumbai-based data journalism initiative, shows that nearly half the complaints were from Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The Indian mission in Qatar received 13,624 complaints, in Saudi Arabia (11,195), in Kuwait (11,103) and in Malaysia (6,346), the Lok Sabha was informed.

Four MPs have raised the question of ill-treatment of Indians abroad, seeking information on whether the government had taken up the issue with the countries.

Most of the complaints are of unpaid or delayed wages, underpayment, long working hours, inadequate living conditions, harassment, delayed renewal of visa and labour card, forcible custody of passport and visa, refusal to pay for medical treatment and denial of leave and air ticket to fly home on completion of the contract period.

Gen. Singh said the missions had been taking up every complaint with the authorities concerned of the respective countries.

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