Migrant workers traveling to Saudi Arabia for work have become victims of bullying and abuse by the men who sponsor them and their dream to find work to support their families.
The situation is not considered slavery, as the migrant workers are free to go as they please, yet the verbal and physical abuse they receive on a daily basis forces many of the migrant workers to perform labor intensive jobs with low pay, long hours, and backbreaking pain. A few individuals who feel the abuse has gone too far decided to bring awareness to the situation by creating a rap video that takes a comedic look at the abuse.
Migrant Rights posted the video, which has gained nearly 800,000 views in only five days, to highlight the unnecessary abuse of migrant workers. Migrant workers are not only willing to work hard for their sponsors, they have made the sacrifice to leave their families behind in search of the difficult work that many prosperous individuals would rather not do. They work long hours for low pay, all in an attempt to make a better life for their families. Yet, their sponsors have taken advantage of the situation, treating the migrant workers with disrespect and disdain.
Canadian paper the Star shared the video with its readership in hopes of spreading the message and bringing awareness to the issue. The video portrays migrant laborers rapping against their sponsors, saying phrases such as, “I’m not afraid of my sponsor.” Yet, the reality is that they are afraid of what their sponsor may do to them, or how he may release them from work and spread the news to other sponsors, taking away a means to provide for their families.
The video was the brainchild of Telfaz11, which is considered to be the original Arabic video network. The video highlights the fact that the luxuries sponsors partake in were created by the migrant workers, not the individuals in charge, insinuating that the migrant workers deserve more respect.
“Who makes the intersections? Who made the sewage system? Who carries the trash? Who works at the convenience store? All Saudis forget who drives the taxis.”
Many of Saudi Arabia’s migrant workers originate from either Pakistan or India. Their worker’s residency permits are controlled by their sponsors. As a result, only the employer can provide the required written permission for them to take on another job or even leave the country.
[Photo Courtesy: The Star]