As the United States is set to drop the issues of human rights condition in the selling of arms and jets to an ever totalitarian Bahrain society, a Bahrain recruitment agency has come under fire for advertising a competition to win an “Ethiopian domestic worker”.
This comes as the Ethiopian government is making an attempt to lure its scattered destitute citizens in the Middle East home, offering them duty free privileges and financial rewards should they take advantage of the amnesty offered by Saudi Arabia.
The Bahrain contest, launched during the holy month of Ramadan called for anyone to register as a promotional gesture, as long as they hold work permit to employ the worker. The grand prize also included insurance, in case the maid escaped from her employer.
Accused of potentially liable to human trafficking, the agency was temporary suspended by the Bahrain Labor Market Regulatory Authority. “We have already suspended the license of the agency, pending investigations,” the agency said.
Bahrain has increasingly been accused of harboring slavery-like working conditions to its imported workers, particularly from Ethiopia, Kenya and the Philippines. Thousands of Ethiopians maids are believed to reside in the nation.
There has been issues of poor work condition, repeated attempt suicide and payment issues with Ethiopian workers in the Middle East. While there is a number of Ethiopian maids convicted with serious crimes, including murder and executed, there is yet to be anyone convicted of killing an Ethiopian maid, despite several suspicious deaths.
There was a recent occurrence in Kuwait where a woman was about to fall from a seventh floor building while her boss was filming her, instead of offering her help. The Ethiopian maid later explained how she “wasn’t trying to commit suicide…..but trying to escape from the woman who tried to kill me”.