Various Measures in Place to Help Indian Women Workers in Distress Abroad: Govt

The government has set up shelters, welfare funds and helplines to address issues faced by Indian women workers abroad, Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh said.


Indian missions take immediate steps to help women workers in distress and to redress their grievances with the foreign employers, labor department and local government authorities, Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh said.

The government has put in place various measures to safeguard and regulate emigration of Indian women workers holding Emigration Check Required (ECR) passports for overseas employment in ECR countries, including Gulf nations, Singh said in the parliament on Dec. 21 in response to a question about whether the Ministry of External Affairs is aware about the reports that many women, who are often victims of human trafficking, are still trapped in some of the Gulf countries.

Occasionally, reports indicate that some Indian women seek overseas employment, particularly in Gulf countries, without obtaining Emigration Clearance (EC), as per provisions of Emigration Act, 1983, Singh said. “Such women not only travel illegally for Overseas Employment, but become vulnerable to various employment related problems,” he added.

Stating a number of rules that are mandatory, he said that every foreign employer desirous of directly recruiting a female ECR worker is required to deposit a bank guarantee equivalent to $2,500 in the respective Indian mission.

“With effect from June 2015, registration of foreign employers in the e-migrate system has been made mandatory,” he said. Also, irrespective of the nature or category of employment, the women must be above the age of 30 years.

Shelter homes have been set up in countries like Bahrain, Kuwait, Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates for distressed Indian nationals, including women workers. Funds have been earmarked from Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) for repatriation of distressed workers, including female workers, the statement added.

Multi-lingual 24×7 helplines of Overseas Workers Resource Centers in New Delhi provide information and guidance on all matters and problems pertaining to overseas employment of Indian nationals. These centers are already functional in Dubai, Riyadh, Jeddah, Sharjah and Kuala Lumpur.

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