Governments of two major Indian states have moved to protect blue collar workers from exploitation by recruitment agents, officials said.
Two delegations led by ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Telangana states are here for employers and UAE officials to ascertain ways of creating a safe migration system.
Around 60,000 Indians enter the UAE job market every year, most of whom are recruited through agents to work as blue collar workers. In many cases, these workers are charged exorbitant fees by the agents and they end up in debt, which has forced the governments of the two states in India to take action.
“People from our state are coming here in large numbers to work as blue collar workers. We have seen that agents exploit these people, so we are trying to create a structure where they can be protected from these agents who charge a lot of money for facilitating visas. Most of these poor people who migrate for work take loans to pay the charges for visa and travel, so our basic idea is to save them from the agent system,” said Naini Narsimha, minister for home and labour in the state of Telengana.
Speaking to Gulf News ahead of a meeting with employers and other officials at the Consulate General of India, he added: “This is a state government welfare measure. We are basically here to provide safe and legal migration. But we are also willing to train them on the skills required to work in the UAE as well as making them aware about the rules and regulations of the place where they will be working. Also, we will make them aware of their rights and privileges so that nobody exploits them.”
Around 800,000 Indians migrated to the Middle East for jobs in the last three years, out of whom 200,000 were from Uttar Pradesh.
“When we saw that a huge number of people from our state are moving out for work, we decided to develop a proper structure that facilitates their movement in a legal and safe environment,” said Prof Abhishek Mishra, UP Minister of Vocational Education and Skill Development.