Plight of the migrant workers in the middle eastern countries is worsening by the day. India, being an overpopulated country, the opportunities of earning one’s livelihood is this country is getting rare. People from the all over India, especially in the backward districts are always looking for opportunities abroad. Middle eastern countries provided a good landing ground for all sorts of low skilled and unskilled workers with a decent wage. The life of a migrant worker in a menial job is harsh. Long hours of work, sometimes in the blistering heat without break, they need to work. The demand for workers in the construction, domestic work and hospitality is insatiable.
The odds are always against them. They need to pay the middleman a hefty sum to get the job. Once they land in the country, they are tied to the Kafeela system. Under the Kafeela system, the employee is tied to the employer and cannot change job or leave the employer or sponsor. If they leave, the job, it is the onus on the Kafeel the sponsor that they are deported or made to leave the country. This is very exploitive as this system blocks domestic competition and the migrants continue with the low wages during the tenure. After lot of criticism, Saudi Arabia forbids such unauthorized fees, but the practice still continues. The migrant worker hails from poverty ridden background, and this puts them into debt even before they get their first wage
The gulf economy is still struggling to get into full throttle after the crisis of 2018. Wages are low, and the economy makes the scenario very depressing. Still the countries want cheaper and cheaper labor. Indians are now at the risk of losing the low wages. Workers from Vietnam, Nepal are pitching in. Lower wages are even taken up by workers in Africa. The race to bottom has been in place and the intensity of exploitation is increasing. The oil prices have not improved, and the demand for labor in the construction and domestic work has not fallen. This is allowing the recruiters to go into Africa to get the cheapest worker.
Justifying the low wages
Workers are being recruited for world cup projects like Qatar 2022. Many contractors are complain that they have to go for the cheapest wage as the bidding process is very competitive. They have to keep the bid offer most competitive so they have to be go for lowest wage, without benefits and minimum reimbursement for the hardships the workers undertook to arrive.
Never ending human suffering
Asthe population increases in the third world countries and the governments areincapable of providing skills and good education to most of their citizens.That makes the situation grim, as all these people men and women out of hungerand desperation will continue to add to the flow of workers in the affluentnations of the middle east and keep the agony of the human suffering alive.