'Not Even Her Worst Day!' Video of Nigerian House Worker Beaten by Employer in Oman Reveals 'Slavery'

Published January 26th, 2020 - 07:20 GMT
'Not Even Her Worst Day!' Video of Nigerian House Worker Beaten by Employer in Oman Reveals 'Slavery'
The sponsorship system prohibits migrant workers from leaving their employers or working for new ones without the sponsor's permission. (Twitter)

A video of a Nigerian domestic worker being beaten up by her employers in Oman went viral on social media, highlighting once again the plight of abuse against domestic workers in the Middle East, drawing calls for more action to protect them.

Several people online shared the video through Twitter, pointing out that the Nigerian worker, Lolu, didn't choose to migrate to Oman for work, but was rather trafficked into the country and "sold to her employer," but the claims could not be verified.

In the GCC and other Arab countries, many households hire female house workers who come from South Asian or African countries, to take care of cleaning and cooking duties around the house. Many workers report human rights violations including long working hours and mistreatment by their employers.

Online reactions expressed outrage and called on the Omani police to intervene over the treatment that Lolu received, as her employer can be heard in the video yelling at her for "not preparing coffee for the guests" while beating her.

Some tried to justify the treatment Lolu received, saying that she provoked her employer and positioned that camera to "stage the abuse scene."

Translation: "This worker is clearly deceiving. She positioned the camera ahead of everything and provoked the woman by not preparing coffee for the guests to draw sympathy and to frame herself as the poor one to cover up for not doing her job".

But the Twitter user that posted the video clarified that Lolu resorted to filming this particular incident only after having experienced it repeatedly from her employers, including even from the men in the family.  

Translation: " #SaveLolu This is inhumane! Humans should know better. Let's end this slavery forever. If people don't know enough about each others' rights, let the force of law take action."

Translation: "Lolu isn't the first one to receive this treatment, neither is she that last one. Many domestic workers have been tortured, beaten, harassed, raped and burned. Some Arabs mistreat domestic workers especially African ones and it's nowhere near human. I hope that Nigeria and humanitarian organizations support her and hold anyone who caused her harm accountable."

In recent year, there have been many records of human rights violations against domestic workers in countries across the Middle East. Workers often reported their employers confiscating their passports, giving them very little to no breaks or days off, denying them food, in addition to them beating them.

According to a 2017 Human Rights Watch report, there are 2.4 million migrants domestic workers in the Gulf states, the majority of whom were from Asian countries. The HRW report confirmed "the sponsorship system in Oman and the UAE prohibits migrant workers from leaving their employers or working for new ones without the sponsor's permission." The report also noted that Omani labor laws "exclude domestic workers from its protection entirely."

Translation: "Many other domestic workers face this not only Lolu and not only in Oman. This happens in all Arab countries, and the reason for it is the sponsorship system which is really another name for slavery."


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