The emigrants' memorial statue.
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Indian Missions receive complaints from women workers particularly housemaids on account of non-payment of salaries, long working hours, inadequate living conditions, physical harassment, refusal of leave or ‘exit/re-entry permits’ ‘final exit visa’ etc. The Government has taken various measures for protecting the safety and welfare of women migrant workers of the ECR (Emigration Check Required) category who emigrate to 17 notified (ECR) countries. These include:-

(i) Age restriction of 30 years has been made mandatory in respect of all such women emigrants.
(ii) The employment contract must be duly attested by the Indian Missions in respect of all such women.
(iii) Women household workers are allowed to emigrate after the Indian mission has attested the identity of the foreign employer and terms and conditions of contract.
(iv) A pre-paid mobile facility must be provided by the employer to every woman Household Worker. If the Foreign Employer recruits the worker directly, he is required to deposit a security of $2500 with the Indian Mission.
(v) The Ministry has set up the Overseas Workers Resource Centre (OWRC) with a 24×7 Helpline to enable emigrant workers / prospective emigrants including women to obtain information on all emigration related matters and to seek redressal of their complaints.
(vi) The Ministry undertakes Awareness Campaign through the print and electronic media to sensitize potential emigrant workers including women emigrants about the legal emigration process and hazards of illegal emigration.
(vii) Indian Community Welfare Fund has been established in all the Indian Embassies/ Missions including all ECR countries. Financial assistance is provided by the Indian Missions out of this fund to all Indian emigrants who are stranded and are in need of assistance.

This information was given by the Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, Shri Vayalar Ravi in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.


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