The Indian diaspora is the largest in the world, with over 15 million migrants from India living abroad, according to the World Migration Report 2018 published by the International Organisation for Migration, the United Nations migration agency.
The largest migration corridor is from India to UAE, where 3.5 million Indians were residing in 2015.
Saudi Arabia and its wealthy Persian Gulf neighbors have long been top destinations for millions of poor laborers, most of whom work in construction, transport and other low-paying sectors. There are more than three million Indian workers in Saudi Arabia
Millions of Indians have migrated to the Middle East and Gulf countries for work over the years. Many of them work in conflict zones, and in the past, the Indian government has arranged large air and sea operations to evacuate them.
Last year, the government evacuated more than 4,000 Indians from Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is fighting a war against Houthi rebels.
from the World Migration Report 2018:-
- Asima was one of the many workers who aspire to go to the Gulf countries in search of better work opportunities but instead is grossly abused by employers. Here is one of the few stories that highlight the trauma that many migrant workers face in the Gulf countries.
- “I went to work as a welder. But when I got there, they took my passport and made me work as a construction labourer. Once when I tried to call my parents, they snatched my phone and kept it with them for 15 days,” says Ritesh Kumar Sharma, who went to Saudi Arabia in December 2012. Despite the fact that his agreement was for two years, he was able to return only on April 6 this year.There are still others that are not only denied phones and salaries but also food and water.
- “I had to beg for food in Saudi Arabia,” says Mohammad Yusuf, another migrant worker who was able to return in 20 days. Yusuf speaks conversational English and says that he was promised a salesperson’s job by his agent. However, when he went there, he too was made to work as a labourer. When he tried to contact the agent who sent him there, there was no response.
The problem is not merely the illegal agents who make false promises and take no guarantee for the treatment meted out to the workers at the hands of the employers.
“Even workers who go through registered recruiting agents can face exploitation and abuse,” says Himanshi Matta, Media Officer, Amnesty International India.