Maldives: Really a hell for expatriate workers

The increasing ill treatment of expatriates in the Maldives that I was witnessing upset me so much that I wrote about it in 2007. I have not spent any appreciable amount of time in the country since then until now. Sadly, the situation seems even more worrying as the number of expatriates has continued to rise and now amount to about 34% of the population of the Maldives!

The US State Department's "Trafficking in Persons Report 2010" places Maldives on the Tier 2 Watch List and describes the situation in Maldives, among other things, as:
An unknown number of the 110,000 foreign workers currently working in the Maldives – primarily in the construction and service sectors – face fraudulent recruitment practices, confiscation of identity and travel documents, withholding or non-payment of wages, or debt bondage. Thirty thousand of these workers do not have legal status in the country, though both legal and illegal workers were vulnerable to conditions of forced labor.
Trafficking offenders usually fall into three groups: families that subject domestic servants to forced labor; employment agents who bring low-skilled migrant workers to the Maldives under false terms of employment and upon payment of high fees; and employers who subject the migrants to conditions of forced labor upon arrival.

Anyway, this little outburst was brought forth after reading the highly disturbing piece published this week on Minivan News on the plights of Bangladeshi workers in Maldives as described by the former High Commissioner of Bangladesh to the Maldives. Do read it.

In Maldives

I am now in the Maldives, back in my home city Male', and will stay put for a few weeks while I tick off a few things on my to-do list...