UN Authority Figures

UN International Labour Organization Governing Body: Saudi Arabia

RIYADH, 6 Sept. 2007 "Sri Lankan domestic worker Anista Marie, 40, who since 1999 hasn't received her salary. Marie called up Arab News saying she has been imprisoned and abused in the home of her sponsor for the past decade. She was rescued at a villa...in Riyadh, about 12 km from the city center." Migrant Rights in the Middle East

Mission of the International Labour Organization:
The ILO is dedicated to bringing decent work and livelihoods, job-related security and better living standards to the people of both poor and rich countries. It helps to attain those goals by promoting rights at work, encouraging opportunities for decent employment, enhancing social protection and strengthening dialogue on work-related issues...We are the experts on work and employment...The ILO formulates international labour standards in the form of Conventions and Recommendations setting minimum standards of basic labour rights: freedom of association, the right to organize, collective bargaining, abolition of forced labour, equality of opportunity and treatment and other standards addressing conditions across the entire spectrum of work-related issues. The ILO's diverse tasks [include] Promote and realize standards and fundamental principles and rights at work; create greater opportunities for women and men to secure decent employment and income; Enhance the coverage and effectiveness of social protection for all...(International Labour Organization web-site, "Mission and Objectives")

Saudi Arabia's Term of office: 2005-2008

Saudi Arabia's Record on Labor Rights:
"There were strict limitations on worker rights, especially for foreign workers...Foreign workers must obtain permission from their sponsors to travel abroad. If sponsors were involved in a commercial or labor dispute with foreign employees, they may ask the authorities to prohibit the employees from departing the country until the dispute is resolved...[S]ponsors used this as a pressure tactic to resolve disputes in their favor...Some foreign workers were subjected to conditions which constituted involuntary servitude, including nonpayment of wages, debt bondage, confinement, and physical or psychological intimidation. Cases of physical and sexual abuse were also reported. Domestic employees were especially vulnerable to abuse. Children were also reportedly trafficked into begging rings..."Foreign laborers', including domestic workers', passports were often illegally retained by their employers sometimes resulting in forced labor. Foreign nationals who have been recruited abroad have, after their arrival in the country, been presented with work contracts that specified lower wages and fewer benefits than originally promised...The government prohibited the establishment of labor unions...Collective bargaining remained prohibited...There were many reports of workers whose employers refused to pay several months, or even years, of accumulated salary or other promised benefits. The labor laws, including those designed to limit working hours and regulate working conditions, did not apply to foreign domestic servants, who may not seek the protection of the labor courts..." (US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2006, Saudi Arabia)