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QUESTION NO.662 TRAFFICKING OF WOMEN VICTIMS IN GULF COUNTRIES

December 21, 2017

RAJYA SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.662
TO BE ANSWERED ON 21.12.2017

TRAFFICKING OF WOMEN VICTIMS IN GULF COUNTRIES

662. K. K. RAGESH:

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) whether the Government is aware of the reports that the women, victims of human trafficking are still trapped in some of the Gulf countries; and

(b) if so, whether the Government is taking any steps for their release?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[GEN. (DR) V. K. SINGH (RETD)]

(a) Yes. 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. Such women not only travel illegally for Overseas Employment, but become vulnerable to various employment related problems. As and when Indian Missions/Posts receive such complaints from women workers in distress, the Missions take immediate action to redress their grievances, with the foreign Employers, Labour Department/ Local Government Authorities.

(b) The Government has already put in place the following measures to safeguard and regulate emigration of Indian women workers, holding ECR passports, for overseas employment in ECR countries including Gulf countries.

(i) All women emigrants (except Nurses) emigrating on ECR passports to ECR countries irrespective of nature/ category of employment must be above the age of 30 years.

(ii) Since August, 2016, emigration clearance of all female workers having ECR passports, for overseas employment in 18 ECR countries have been made mandatory through six State-run recruiting agencies only. Those are NORKA Roots and Overseas Development and Employment Promotion Consultants (ODEPC) of Kerala, Overseas Manpower Corporation Ltd. (OMCL) of Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh Financial Corporation (UPFC) of Uttar Pradesh, Overseas Manpower Company Andhra Pradesh Limited (OMCAP) of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Overseas Manpower Company Limited (TOMCOM) of Telangana.

(iii) Every foreign Employer desirous of directly recruiting a female ECR worker is required to deposit a Bank Guarantee equivalent to US $2500 in the respective Indian Mission.

(iv) Embassy attestation has been made mandatory in respect of direct recruitment of all ECR passport holder women workers in respect of all ECR countries.

(v) With effect from June 2015, registration of foreign employers in the e-migrate system has been made mandatory.

(vi) Shelter Homes for distressed Indian nationals including women workers have been set up in Bahrain, Kuwait, Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

(vii) Funds earmarked from Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) for repatriation of distressed workers including female workers

(viii) The multi-lingual 24X7 Help Lines of Overseas Workers Resource Centres in New Delhi provides information and guidance on all matters and problems pertaining to overseas employment of Indian nationals.

(ix) Indian Workers Resource Centres (IWRC) have also been set up which provide guidance and counselling on such matters pertaining to overseas Indian workers. These centres are already functional in Dubai, Riyadh, Jeddah, Sharjah and Kuala Lumpur.

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