Measures to address Indian emigrants issues

A large number of Indians are working in the Gulf countries. The details of Indians in Gulf Countries are as given below: –

Country No. of Indian working (approx. in Lakhs)
Bahrain 4.00
Kuwait 6.41
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 18 – 20
Oman 5.81
Qatar 4.50
UAE 17.50

Complaints received from some workers are generally in the nature of ill-treatment and harassment, non-payment of agreed salaries/ dues, contractual violations, refusal of leave or exit/re-entry permits, withholding of passports etc.  The number of cases reported are as under:

Country Year
2009 2010 2011
Bahrain 1427 1384 1163
Kuwait 3560 4363 2851
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 5306 5250 3656
Oman 5221 2225 2889
Qatar 2165 3034 3186
UAE 2316 1036 1588

The Government has taken several steps to address the issue of Indian emigrants, which include the following:

(i)  Nation-wide awareness campaigns through the media to educate intending emigrants about legal emigration procedures, the risk of illegal migration and precautions to be taken during emigration.
(ii) The Government has established an Overseas Workers Resource Centre (OWRC) which is a 24 hour telephone helpline in eight languages to provide authentic information to emigrants as well as intending emigrants on all aspects of emigration.
(iii)       The Government has established Indian Community Welfare Funds (ICWF) in all Indian Missions to provide onsite support to the affected emigrants.
(iv)  Government has established an Indian Workers Resource Centre(IWRC) in the UAE.
(v)  The Government has signed MOUs with seven major labour receiving countries to lay down a framework for bilateral cooperation for the protection and welfare of workers.
(vi)   The Ministry revised the Emigration (Amendment) Rules, 2009 w.e.f 9th July, 2009 revising the eligibility criteria for Recruiting Agents (RAs).
(vii)   In case, the involvement of a recruiting agent to cheat and exploit the worker is reported, then action under Emigration Act, 1983 is taken.  Besides, the blacklisting of recalcitrant employers is also resorted to.
(viii)   Pravasi Bhartiya Bima Yojana (PBBY) is a compulsory Insurance Scheme for the protection of emigrant workers.
(ix)     Some missions hold awareness camps and medical camps and visit Jails, hospital and labour camps. The missions also operate shelter homes for women emigrants/ runaway maids.

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