x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

'I was sold for Dh7,000,' says Abu Dhabi maid

Five Nepali women who were sold to their sponsors speak of their ordeal after their escaping from their 'owners'.

“I was sold for Dh7,000 to an Arab family in Abu Dhabi,” said B?L, 22, a Nepalese woman who fled from her sponsor after undergoing mental and physical abuse.

The National interviewed women taking shelter at the Nepal Embassy, all of whom were brought to the UAE on forged documents and then sold to sponsors.

The traumatised women spoke of how they managed to escape the homes of their tormentors.

B?L arrived in Ras Al Khaimah seven months ago. She said she was inappropriately touched by the sons of her sponsors.

“When the parents were out, they banged on my maids-room door asking for sexual favours,” she said.

“They touched my body parts. The boys were a big problem so I decided to leave. When I found nobody was at home I packed my belongings and escaped. I took a taxi and came straight to the embassy.”

B?L added: “I came here to raise some money for the education of my younger brother and sisters, but due to such bad treatment I want to go back home.”

She has been at the embassy’s safe house for two months. When the mission approached the sponsor, he demanded Dh6,000 to cancel her visa, saying he bought her from an agent for Dh7,000, a mission official said.

S?M, 24, was working in Jumeirah in Dubai. “The housewife of the sponsor would say ‘l will cut your hands. You don’t know how to clean the house’,” she said.

“I was sold to the sponsor for Dh8,000. They treated me inhumanely and after finishing their dinner they ordered me to eat the leftovers on the dining table. They threw food in front of me.”

anwar@thenational.ae