Modern Slavery: 14 April, 2019 Migrant worker abandoned by Joannou & Paraskevaides (Overseas) Ltd (In Liquidation) (‘JPO’)in Saudi Arabia suffered paralysis FIFTEEN days ago. It was only following protests by his co-workers, that the Indian authorities eventually admitted him into hospital. His co-workers allege that he in the hospital for one hour and then discharged. Nobody knows for sure what medical treatment he was administered- if at all. He definitely does not have the money to pay for his treatment. As a consequence of his limited mobility, his co-workers have to lift and assist him even for him to attend the bathroom. The denial of medical treatment is inhumane and tantamount to torture. Both the Indian and the Saudi authorities do not seem to comprehend that there is absolutely no merit in the men remaining in Saudi Arabia. Further, there is failure by both authorities to recognise the suffering of the abandoned migrant workers. It is evident that JPO does not have the funds to pay their creditors and/or the outstanding and overdue salaries of the migrant workers. Even if funds were available to settle the salaries, they can be transferred to directly to the migrant worker’s bank accounts. The men do not need to be present in Saudi Arabia. It seems that the only thing preventing the men from being repatriated to their home countries is payment of their respective visa fines and penalties so that they obtain an ‘iqama’ – a sign off by the employers so that they can exit Saudi Arabia. Something that can be easily done by the Indian and Saudi authorities. The Indian authorities are waiting for their cue from the Saudi authorities who have no incentive, cause or concern to pull their collective fingers out and expedite matters to save lives. This a gross dereliction of duty by Joannou & Paraskevaides (Overseas) Ltd (In Liquidation) (‘JPO’), the Indian and the Saudi authorities.
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