x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Nepalese maids at UAE shelter tell of abuse

A 19-year-old received no pay in the 16 months that she worked for a family, and was reportedly beaten regularly by her employer.

ABU DHABI // The toll of abuse meted out to girls who came to the Emirates  to work is apparent at the Nepalese Embassy.

One housemaid, 19-year-old R?T,  who worked for a family in Dubai, laughed hysterically as she tied shoelaces around her neck.

“She is not in her proper state of mind,” said the labour attache,  Heera Devi Paudel.

An agent illegally charged the girl’s employer  for Dh7,000 and she did not receive a penny in the 16 months she worked for the family. When she asked for her pay she was told it was being sent directly to her home in Nepal, but nothing arrived.

She has been at the embassy’s shelter for a week and does not have her passport and other documents.

The embassy told how she was beaten regularly by her sponsor and the girl sported a large, fresh mark on her cheek.

When officials asked her sponsor for her passport, they were told to stump up the Dh7,000 the family had paid  to hire her. The officials refused.

Another maid, S?P, 20, said she was paid every month but the family who sponsored her always used abusive language and mistreated her.

“I used to go to bed at 1am and wake up by 4am to prepare the children for school,” she said. She has been staying at the shelter for 20 days while the embassy pursues her case to get her passport back and have her visa cancelled.

Another woman, S?C, 26, who worked in Fujairah said: “I was also meted out with bad treatment and no proper food and sleep, so I fled and sheltered at the mission.”

anwar@thenational.ae