Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Perspective: 'They told me that I was going to work in Amman'

NGOs have warned of increasing numbers of foreign workers being mislead to work in Iraq for little or no pay and at great risk to their lives. Many were destined to work in Gulf countries or other Middle Eastern countries but were deceived by employers organising their travel arrangements.

"When I left Ethiopia for Jordan, they told me that I was going to work in Amman and receive US $200 a month for my services. On the second day of my arrival in Amman, they told me that I had to travel to another city by plane. Soon after, I found myself working in a house in Baghdad," said Muluken Alemu, a 22-year-old Ethiopian who lives as virtual prisoner in the house she works in.

"I got desperate. They took my passport away and since I came here five months ago, I haven't received a single dollar for my work - they always tell me that they'll pay me after I complete one year of service. I pleaded with them to send me back to my country, but each time I do that, the owner of the house beats me."

Read the rest at Reuters/Alternet