June 18, 2012
March 22, 2012
By Laura Sheahen Thirty-year-old Madhu Tharu has been working for other people since she was a little girl. A bonded labourer in a village of bonded labourers, the Nepali woman basically belonged to her landlord. The system of serfdom that trapped her wasn’t abolished in Nepal until the early 2000s. So for years, she worked all day. Her brothers, at least, were allowed to go to school. As a kamalari--a servant girl-- she wasn’t. As teenagers, Madhu and thousands of girls like her were prime targets of traffickers, criminals who sell girls into forced prostitution or forced labour. As adults, women like Madhu are prime candidates for overseas work as housemaids. Uneducated and impoverished, they sometimes face physical and sexual abuse when working for Middle Eastern families in places like Kuwait. Though some women do indeed earn money when they go abroad, the risks of migration are serious. Even in the best [...]
When impoverished women decide to leave their countries to work abroad, they often are deceived or abused. Smugglers and human traffickers may exploit them, forcing them to work as unpaid prostitutes or beggars. Women who become domestic workers are sometimes beaten, overworked, or not paid. Many women leave behind their own families to care for others, making their children vulnerable. The Female Face of Migration, a report by Caritas Internationalis, describes the problems that migrant women face. Explore this page to learn more: read the policy paper, get to know to stories of four women, and play our interactive game “Follow the Migrant Woman” to see what choices you would make if you were a poor woman going abroad.
June 24, 2010
Falak Sher took his young son and his nephew from their rural village in Pakistan’s Punjab region to race as camel jockeys in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 1998. He was in search of a fortune, but found a nightmare. Once there, his children were starved to keep their weights at the minimum for racing. They were given electric shocks as punishments for minor mistakes. “We were not allowed to leave the premises. It seemed we had landed in a prison,”he said. Camel racing is a hugely popular sport inmany Gulf States. As children weigh less, the camels go faster. Although the UAE repatriated 3000 child jockeys in 2005 to Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sudan, the use of children as jockeys in the Gulf States is still reported. Reintegrating the children has been a challenge. Despite a government scheme to get them back into school, many were reluctant. Parents and children [...]