August 31, 2012

Banning women from work is not the answer, says Caritas

By |31 August 2012|

Nepal’s August 2012 ban preventing women under 30 from working in Gulf countries is well-meaning but misguided, according to Caritas migration experts. The ban is intended to protect young women from suffering abuse while they work as maids in private homes. For years, Caritas has worked with survivors of such abuse. “We appreciate the government of Nepal’s concern for migrant domestic workers,” says Rupa Rai of Caritas Nepal. “But the problems women face in Gulf countries will not decrease because of this age bar.” Each year, hundreds of thousands of women leave Asian countries like Nepal, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Philippines to work in Gulf countries such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Some are treated well, but others work long hours without being paid, often suffering beatings and sexual abuse. Instead of banning migration outright, countries should develop “better strategies to provide both safety and decent work for women,” says Rai. [...]

July 17, 2012

Help for abused migrant women in Japan

By |17 July 2012|

Many women from poorer Asian countries migrate to Japan in search of a better life. At times, however, they become trapped in abusive relationships or exploitative work situations.

June 18, 2012

Q&A with Sister Laurence Huard of Caritas Algeria

By |18 June 2012|

We've opted for indirect assistance aimed at promoting advocacy regarding free movement and respect of human rights along the migration routes.

Better protection for women refugees

By |18 June 2012|

On World Refugee Day (20 June), Caritas says there needs to be better protection of the human rights of refugee women, especially in relief camps and in border areas. In Africa, women refugees live for extended periods in overcrowded sites where life is harsh. They lack access to basic items such as food, shelter, clothing and medical care. Women can easily become victims of all forms of violence, sexual abuse and exploitation. In industrialised countries, women asylum seekers face unduly prolonged detention and forced return, as well as restricted access to social or medical systems, combined with limited access to the regular employment market. The UN’s refugee agency UNHCR says the world will see increasing numbers of refugees during the next 10 years as the factors causing mass population flight grow. They include climate change, population growth, urbanisation, food insecurity, water scarcity and resource competition. Finding durable solutions to refugee situations is a [...]

May 27, 2012

How Caritas works: Women and Migration

By |27 May 2012|

“Migrants...represent 2.9 per cent of world population, some 185-192 million people, nearly half of whom are female. The most common employment opportunities for women...are areas where just treatment must be assured for migrant women out of respect for their femininity in recognition of their equal rights. “Trafficking in human beings has a particularly negative impact on women. In some cases there are women and girls who are exploited almost like slaves in their work, and not infrequently in the sex industry. The culture which encourages the systematic exploitation of sexuality is as pervasive as it is unhealthy for society and must be addressed by more than fine words” Archbishop Celestino Migliore – Permanent Observer of the Hole See to the UN in his address at  the 50th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, 2 March 2006. Issues related to Migration and Development has always been on the agenda [...]

Treat migrant women with dignity, says Caritas

By |24 May 2012|

Photo exhibit highlights plight of Nepali women

By |16 May 2012|

Caritas aids Somali refugee women in Kenya

By |16 May 2012|

April 27, 2012

Sold out: Migration and human trafficking in Nepal

By |27 April 2012|

In Asia’s slums or impoverished villages, women and teenage girls will listen when a well-dressed stranger offers them a job. In Nepal, a poor country on the northeast border with India, thousands of young women leave their homes in search of work abroad. Sometimes the jobs offered are legitimate—the women earn money and help their families. But sometimes they are sold by human traffickers and are forced to work for free. In the worst cases, they are beaten or forced into prostitution. Click on the photo to the left to see an audiovisual feature about the problem—and to find out what Caritas is doing to help. Photos by Katie Orlinsky or Laura Sheahen Audio by Laura Sheahen

FAQs on human trafficking in Nepal

By |27 April 2012|

What is human trafficking?  Human trafficking is a crime in which traffickers deceive and recruit people, often across national borders, for the purpose of exploitation (forced labour, beggary, prostitution or removal of organs). Traffickers often lure impoverished victims with false promises of good jobs. When a person is working against their will, is not being paid, and is unable to leave--or if the conditions of their work are not regulated--they may be victims of trafficking. Where is Nepal and what is happening in Nepal?  Nepal is an extremely poor country on the northeast border with India. Due to poverty and lack of jobs, many Nepali people consider working abroad to earn money for their families. What kinds of fake jobs are being offered?  Unscrupulous employment agents in Nepal might offer teenage girls work as a housemaid, or offer to make them a movie star in India. Other agents offer men construction jobs in the [...]

In Nepal, a Walk Down Cheat Street

By |27 April 2012|

Caritas tries to offer at-risk people other options, giving small loans to poor women.

March 22, 2012

Happy to be home in Nepal

By |22 March 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 [...]
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    Alem’s life is over, but her story is not: ending domestic worker abuse in Lebanon

Alem’s life is over, but her story is not: ending domestic worker abuse in Lebanon

By |22 March 2012|

Dangerous trains

By |16 March 2012|

Trains are the main means of transport used by migrants from Central America to cross Mexico and reach the border with the United States. But climbing onto their roofs or perching between two rail cars is a dangerous undertaking.
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    On board trains to the United States, migrants are not alone

On board trains to the United States, migrants are not alone

By |16 March 2012|

It is 7:30pm, in Amatlan, in the province of Cordoba Veracruz. The train whistle blows in the distance. In Norma Romero Vazquez' kitchen, headquarters of the "Patronas ", women bustle about.. Carmen, 90, the oldest of the women in the family, takes a crate filled with bags of food. Along with her daughters and granddaughters, Carmen goes to the railway that passes about ten meters away from her house. Over a distance of a kilometer, the fifteen women share the crates out between themselves. When the light of the train appears, they get as close as possible to the tracks and stretch out their arms laden with food bags. "God bless you", cry the migrants aboard the goods train. In a few minutes, the train has gone. Back to Norma's kitchen. For over 15 years, Carmen, Norma and the others have been handing out food, clothing and medicines to the migrants on [...]

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