Thursday, 12 July 2012

Sri Lankan Domestic workers in Jorden seek help from Tamkeen for Legal Aid

By Maryam Azwer/ Thursday, July 12, 2012 The Sunday Leader

A Jordan-based NGO said they have recorded around 110 complaints from Sri Lankan migrant workers from January to June this year.
According to Madhu Shanika Liyanage, a social worker attached to Jordan’s Tamkeen for Legal Aid, the complaints received from Sri Lankan domestic migrant workers usually range from unpaid salaries, to physical or sexual abuse.

Liyanage also said that these domestic workers sometimes ran away from their homes due to several other reasons, the most common being nostalgia and an inability to deal with the gap in cultures.
Tamkeen General Manager, Linda Alkalash, said that complaints were recorded mainly from workers who directly approached the Tamkeen office. “We receive cases mostly from Sri Lankans, mainly because they are the ones who know more about us,” she said, adding that people got to know about Tamkeen chiefly via word of mouth.

The organization offers assistance to migrant workers, especially in terms of legal aid and mediation with employers, said Alkalash.
She also said that more efforts needed to be made to help Sri Lankan domestic workers, prior to their departure to Jordan.
“For instance, they need to be made aware of the weather conditions here. Some of them can’t cope with the cold in winter,” she said. Alkalash added that efforts should also be made to ensure that employers allowed domestic workers their right to privacy, and should be given their own rooms for instance, and be allowed to possess mobile phones.

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