Workers’ rights is not a popular topic here, but I will still keep talking about it even if I am sent to the moon. To make the story short, it is about a maid whose bad luck leads her to work for a family where she is subjected to harassment and molestation from her sponsor. She wants to run away, but is afraid. She knows that those who abscond from their bosses will be sent to jail. She had got a warning from a neighbor back home, but never thought she might also end up in her shoes.
I know many of you think that going to the police is the best way to stop that man and keep her safe. But what guarantee does she have that she will not have to go back again with him because he has the upper hand in the eyes of the law? This problem is not only from the sponsor’s side, but it is due to the law. We may rush to the police to file a case against this man for harassment and possibly physical abuse, and the police may recognize the reasons. But if the worker has left her workplace, the sponsor can file an absconding case to the police and she will be deported on arrest. This is a law that should protect human rights! This is exactly why many runaway maids never go to the police.
Let’s think of a possible scenario here. The maid goes to the police to file a legal complaint against her sponsor. The police will call the sponsor and he will be given a choice to report against the maid for running away or theft, and here it will be up to the sponsor to decide his/her preference!
I was happy over the issuance of the new labor law in 2010, where it took into account many key points that provide guarantees of a humanitarian nature such as against child labor, preventing discrimination between men and women, respect for the rights of others to work and other regulations of a social nature, from emergency and conditions of work safety and health protection in hazardous work to paid holidays, but this does not mean that the law is perfect as some problems emerged when it was applied, especially over the absence of a worker.
The absence of a worker from work without permission gives the employer the right to file an absconding case and could lead to the abuse of many rights of the worker, or could be an opportunity for the employer to get rid of the worker without any compensation. Here a worker is in a dark tunnel because his future is in the hands of the employer.
The most important question: Are these gaps legal loopholes or misapplication of the law? The law does not have control over every person in its implementation. The sponsor has the power to weaken a worker’s position and force him into a situation in which he will be compelled to bargain away his own future. It is sad when a man is forced to renounce his rights to stay, whether physical or moral.