'Middle Eastern employers must stop abusing women': Ghana lawyer

'Middle Eastern employers must stop abusing women': Ghana lawyer
A lawyer has recommended that women under 30 should be prevented from travelling to the Middle East in order to prevent a rising trend in sexual abuse, torture and slavery.
2 min read
22 May, 2017
NGOs are working to increase labour rights for migrant workers across the Middle East [Facebook]

A lawyer in Ghana has submitted a proposal to his government to stop women under the age of 30 from travelling to work in the Middle East.

John Kwame Quayeson said the plan would help stop a rising number of abuse cases being reported to embassies, Ghana's Joy News reports.

"There's everything wrong with our females going to some countries, notably Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iran," Quayeson said.

"Some die and it is the reality on the ground."

The UN's International Organisation for Migration (IOM) reported in December on a worrying rise in the number of cases of torture, sexual abuse, slavery and inhumane working conditions being reported to embassies in the Middle East.

"The data compiled from interviews with 162 victims reveals alarming trends: 100 percent of workers had their passports withheld, 87 percent were confined to their workplace; 76 percent had wages withheld; 73 percent suffered psychological abuse; and 61 percent endured physical abuse," the report reads.

Many Ghanaian migrant workers are susceptible to exploitation by fraudulent employment agencies who promise excellent working conditions and salaries.

Human Rights Watch reports that workers in Saudi Arabia who report sexual assault often risk prosecution for illegal extramarital sex if they cannot prove they were raped.

Quayeson said the issue required greater interest from Accra and that a travel ban could help stem the rising number of abuse cases among the country's young female population.