Saudi Arabia Expatriate Workers Must Be Protected

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Paris Francophone Institute for Freedoms (PFIF) has received testimonials about Saudi authorities crack down on a protest movement organized by workers of different nationalities last Wednesday demanding the payment of salaries that were delayed more than half a year ago.
PFIF sees what happened against the workers of a contracting company in Dhahran region (eastern Saudi Arabia) is a long series of ongoing violation of workers’ rights in the Kingdom and abuse of force against them when they try to protest against their poor conditions instead of redressing them.
The institute received testimonials from workers reported that they had gathered outside the headquarters of the “Ezmil” Contracting Company in Dhahran City last Wednesday, protesting the delay in paying salaries for six to eight consecutive months.
According to one of these testimonies, the Saudi authorities paid special security forces surrounded the protesters, and began beating them severely and insulting them. Then, they arrested most of them.
One of the workers who spoke to the Institute said that his colleges had complained to the Saudi Ministry of Labor about delays in paying salaries, ill-treatment and poor working conditions. However, they received threats to withdraw complaints without taking any action to pursue their case.
According to these workers, the company has close relations with the Saudi authorities, and if correct, it holds the authorities in Riyadh more legal, moral and humanitarian responsibility.
We at PFIF confirm that this incident of repression, arrest and humiliation of workers simply for demanding their late salaries is not isolated from a series of similar incidents in which migrant workers in Saudi Arabia have been killed, assailed and arbitrarily disappeared in recent years. , So it became a broad spread phenomenon in the Kingdom, because of the failure of their systems to protect the rights of workers, and lack of accountability for the perpetrators of these violations.
The Institute urges the Saudi authorities to undertake complete and radical reforms in the labor sector in order to safeguard the full rights of expatriate workers, to provide decent living conditions for their members and to preserve the fundamental rights to work.
We call on the International Labor Organization to immediately investigate the incident and take measures against violations of workers’ rights in Saudi Arabia by sending a committee to monitor and investigate their situation, as well as to end the widespread violations of low wages and delay in disbursement , Under the sponsorship system in force in the Kingdom, such as the right to travel.
For more than two years, Saudi Arabia has been witnessing repeated strikes and protests by workers because of their long-term saloons, especially those in the construction sector.
For decades, foreign workers have played a vital role in Saudi Arabia’s economy, accounting for about a third of the country’s 33 million people, providing the private sector with more than 80 per cent of the labor required to operate it.

The Paris Institute urges the Saudi authorities to undertake comprehensive and radical reforms in the labor sector in order to safeguard the full rights of expatriate workers, to provide decent living conditions for their members and to preserve the fundamental rights to work.
We call on the International Labor Organization to immediately investigate the incident and take measures against violations of workers’ rights in Saudi Arabia by sending a committee to monitor and investigate their situation, as well as to end the widespread violations of low wages and delay in disbursement, Under the sponsorship system in force in the Kingdom, such as the right to travel and travel.
For more than two years, Saudi Arabia has been witnessing repeated strikes and protests by workers because of their long-term salaries, especially those in the construction sector.
For decades, foreign workers have played a vital role in Saudi Arabia’s economy, accounting for about a third of the country’s 33 million people, providing the private sector with more than 80 per cent of the labor required to operate it.

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