The remaining eight Indian nationals unlawfully detained by the construction company Al-Sacr Al-Jaher in Basra, Iraq were released earlier today and are currently on their way to India in time to celebrate Diwali with their respective families!
Despite Al-Sacr Al-Jaher’s demands for $1,000 per man, no payment was made to secure the release of these men. Sheer determined persistence secured the release of these men. The flight tickets were paid in full by the Indian Government.
The names of the eight Indian nationals are: Yoginder Singh, Jitendra Pratap, Ravindar Kumar, Sunil Kumar, Ram Kayas, Ram Singh, Manjot Kumar and Dipachand Sahani. These men are all originally from Uttar Pradesh, India.
The recruitment ‘agents’ in India were reported to the authorities in India. The ‘agents’ immediately went into hiding and are yet to be located. This is a further reason as to why the Indian authorities should regulate recruitment agencies in India.
These agencies are currently unaccountable and continue to exploit and ruin the lives of vulnerable people desperate who to travel to the Gulf countries that have no regard or respect for the human rights of these people. The Indian work migrants are exploited by the ‘agents’ in India, then by their ‘agents’ in the Gulf countries to whom they are ‘sold’ to by the Indian ‘agents’. The Indian migrant workers are further exploited, maltreated and abused by their employers in the Gulf countries. To cap it all, the plight of these migrants is often ignored by the Indian Missions based in these countries who fail to protect and support their nationals.
Modern slavery is alive and kicking in the Gulf States. In addition to regulating the recruitment ‘agents’ the Indian authorities must do more to ensure that Indian nationals are aware of their rights and the perils of working in the Gulf States.