Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Abused Maid Paid $8,042.89

We have a winner!

“Rosie who survived seven months of torture at the hands of her sponsor and his wife” is going to be paid 30,000 Saudi Riyals [$8,042.89] in compensation. Rosie tells her story to The Saudi Gazette, and states that her “employers had subjected me to the harsh beating when I asked for my salary. The beating became a ritual and escalated when I asked the help of the mother of my woman employer.”

A [poor, or she would not have come here] young woman from the Philippines, Rosie came to Saudi this past February to work as a maid for 750 Saudi Riyals a month, or whopping $201.07 U.S. Dollars! This measly amount went unpaid, a saga all to familiar here in The Kingdom, for some six months. On August 8th Rosie received what was her last and “the worst” beating and the next day she “managed to escape and made it to the King Fahd Hospital” where her compatriots called the Philippine embassy to report her condition.

Philippine embassy welfare officer Danilo P. Flores said, “Her condition was heartbreaking. She had contusions on her head and had developed hematoma all over her body.” Flores reported the incident to Captain Fahd Saad Al-Dossari of the Udulliyah Police who investigated the case, summoned Rosie’s sponsor and “locked him up.” It is reported that Rosie’s sponsor “confessed to his crime before police and agreed to settle the case by paying Rosie seven months of unpaid salaries and other damages.”

It is in this regard that we have a winner… In the almost four years that I have been here in The Sandbox, not ONCE have I read that a sponsor has admitted to the crime of abusing domestic help. Not. Once. It goes without saying that NO ONE should have to suffer abuse at the hands of their employer, and it should go without saying that no one should go unpaid for any length of time, and certainly not for seven months.

“The embassy had initially asked for SR50,000.” “Rosie’s sponsor settled at the police station and agreed to pay SR30,000 after negotiations . . . That settlement includes SR18,000 representing 24 months worth of salaries, SR800 for the destruction of Rosie’s personal belongings, SR1,200 for air tickets back to the Philippines, and SR10,000 in blood money for the beatings.”

Broken down, the sums Rosie received for being abused by her sponsor, are:

SR50,000 – the initial amount requested – is $13,404.82 U.S. Dollars;

SR30,000 – the amount the sponsor agreed to pay – is $8,042.89 U.S. Dollars;

SR18,000 – representing two FULL years of salary – is $4,825.73 U.S. Dollars;

SR800 – for personal belongings – is $214.47 U.S. Dollars;

SR1200 – for airfare – is 321.71 U.S. Dollars; and

SR10,000 – payment of blood money – is $2,680.96 U.S. Dollars.

Colonel Al-Harbi states, “We would like to emphasize that such treatment – such abuse – will not and is not tolerated in our society. This is a warning to all employers to respect the rights of their workers.” This rhetoric has been the subject of diatribe for so long that there was never a resultant action came as no surprise. It is enlightening, to say the least, that we have come upon an official who truly means what he says. Let’s hope that someone, somewhere, seriously considers promoting Chief of Al-Ahsa Police, Colonel Ibrahim Muhammad Al-Harbi, to the head of whatever government agency oversees labor abuses and disputes!


  1. Some justice at least but there is something rather shallow about it if you just pony up the cash and walk free. Then again it is the Sandbox we're talking about!

  2. This poor woman is so lucky - not only to get the publicity that the abuse of maids is happening all the time, but she also got paid out without being dragged thru a probably humiliating court case. I pity the next maid to work for the same employer, cos I bet he won't change his behaviour.

    Welcome back Sabra - I've really missed your blog & its been magic catching up.....(I've been grounded with a sprained ankle)

  3. Darling Sabra, you are back! Hope you landed softly into that sandbox of yours, that the kiddies were fine and deliriously happy to see mom & dad, and most of all that you are rested and ready to fire on all cylindres: welcome back Sabra!


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