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QUESTION NO.1142 CRIME AGAINST INDIANS LIVING IN GULF COUNTRIES

December 28, 2017

RAJYA SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.1142
TO BE ANSWERED ON 28.12.2017

CRIME AGAINST INDIANS LIVING IN GULF COUNTRIES

1142. SHRIMATI THOTA SEETHARAMA LAKSHMI:

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) whether there have been reports of mistreatment and crime against Indians living in the Gulf countries and if so, the details thereof;

(b) the reaction of Government thereto; and

(c) the details of steps Government has taken to address the concerns of crime against Indians in these countries?


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

(a) Indian Missions and Posts in Gulf countries have received complaints from Indians both male and female workers in Gulf countries regarding mistreatment. A majority of these pertain to labour disputes (non-payment or delay in payment of salaries and other benefits such as medical and insurance, refusal of leave or exit/re-entry permits for visits to India, denial to arrange the final exit visas to the worker for return to India after completion of the contract, etc.) and maltreatment on the part of the employers. Most of the cases pertain to labourers, who do not have proper employment contract, and have migrated in violation of Government norms for recruitment of Emigration Check Requirement (ECR) workers from India. In some cases, female workers are taken by unauthorized Indian Recruiting Agents on a Tourist visa to a third country and then are sent to Gulf countries on employment visa to bypass Government’s safeguards put in place for protection of female workers. The Indian Missions/Posts in Gulf countries, in addition, receive complaints about the cheating done by the Indian recruiting agents, who send the workers (both female & male) using illegal means. Missions have reported that our nationals are not object of targeted crimes.

(b) & (c) The safety, security and well-being of Indians abroad is among the top priorities for the Government of India. Our Missions and Posts abroad remain vigilant and closely monitor any incident of attack/complaints of mistreatment against Indians. Such incidents are immediately taken up with the concerned authorities for taking action, as appropriate, to ensure that the cases are properly investigated and guilty punished.

The Government has strengthened its online mechanism for addressing the grievances of all overseas Indians. In this connection, Ministry has launched an online Consular Services Management System, called ‘Madad Portal’ since February 2015 in order to provide consular assistance expeditiously to Indian nationals who are in distress in foreign countries. The complaints are monitored in the Indian Missions and the Ministry at various levels till their final resolution. Emigration Check Required (ECR) category emigrants or their relatives can log in their grievances relating to overseas employment on the e-Migrate portal or through Overseas Workers’ Resource Centre (OWRC) Helpline. In addition, Indian nationals can contact Indian Missions/Posts for assistance through Missions’ 24x7 emergency phone numbers/helplines which are available on Ministry/Missions’/Posts website, email, by post, SMSs, personal visits/walk-ins, open house meeting, etc. including the social media, such as, facebook, twitter, etc.

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