Saudi beheading brings nanny ban
COLOMBO - Sri Lanka has banned women under 25 from seeking work in Saudi Arabia after authorities beheaded a 24-year-old maid earlier this month.
- Published: 28/01/2013 at 12:26 PM
- Newspaper section: topstories
"As a first step, we are raising the age limit (on women going abroad to work as maids) to 25," said Information Minister Keheliya Rambukwella.
"We will gradually move towards a total ban on our women going abroad to do low-paying jobs," he said, according to a report in The New Paper on Monday.
Prison authorities in Riyadh on Jan 9 beheaded Sri Lankan maid Rizana Nafik, who was 17 when a baby in her care was smothered to death in 2005, following an argument between the Sri Lankan teenager and the baby's mother.
The United States and the United Nations led international condemnation of the Saudi execution.
Nearly 1.7 million Sri Lankans are employed abroad and the US$6 billion they sent home last year is a key source of foreign exchange for the government, said the report. But Sri Lankan maids and nannies typically earn less than $300 (9,000 baht) a month.
According to The New Paper, Sri Lanka is the fifth biggest source of maids for Saudi Arabia, after Indonesia (103,000), the Philippines (70,000), India (15,000) and Myanmar (10,000).
Few Thais work in Saudi Arabia because of the split in relations between Bangkok and Riyadh following the theft of jewellery by a Thai worker from the present king of Saudi Arabia.