MODERN SLAVERY IN THE MIDDLE EAST
2.1 million women employed in households across the Middle East are under the exploitative "kafala" system. This is a system that gives employer sponsorship permit to bring in foreign workers, which bind workers to their employers and allows exploitation. These workers are often openly auctioned either on the black market or online. 93.73% of Kenyan returnees from the Middle East countries suffered forms of forced labour.
Global Justice Group has initiated a survivor's led project in Kenya with the purpose of providing survivors with restorative justice, and ending exploitation, abuse and killing of women migrating to Saudi Arabia as domestic workers.
Saudi Arabia is one of the most dangerous places in the world for domestic foreign workers. Between 2020 and November 2022, at least 185 young Kenyan women employed as domestic workers under abusive conditions died in Saudi Arabia. Hundreds of returnees suffer permanent injuries as a consequence of excessive work, unsanitary living conditions, denied medical attention, life threats, sexual harassment, beatings and torture.
These numbers do not include missing persons and anyway reveal a disproportionate rate of death of Kenyan domestic workers in Saudi Arabia compared with deaths in other gulf states.
CREATING A PRECEDENT TO DISMANTLE A SYSTEM
Feith Murunga survived Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery. Her Saudi Arabia employer burnt her left arm with boiling water as a punishment because she sent home pictures of her swollen face to prove abuse at her work place.
Feith survived because her story went viral, sparking outrage among the Kenyan public who raised funds to rescue her.
Today Feith is GJG Survivor Liaison Officer. GJG and Feith are documenting hundreds of claims of Kenyan women either injured or killed while working in Saudi Arabia. GJG has hired a legal council to research possible courses of action leading to remedy for Feith and all the other cases. GJG is also creating a survivors' network aimed at amplifying the voices of returnees and the families of those killed.
Feith and Kenyan Women intend to pave the way to end exploitation of millions of domestic foreign workers in the Middle East.
Help Feith and hundreds of women to dismantle the chain of profit behind the exploitation of women in the Middle East.