Romina Halabi


Slavery was not abolished in Saudi Arabia until 1962, and in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) until 1963. It is unsurprising, then, that contract slavery of domestic servants continues to thrive in much of the Persian Gulf, where local economies prosper on the immigration of foreign workers. Economic incentives on the part of the sending and receiving nations encourage the migration of female workers from their home countries to Saudi Arabia and to the UAE. These incentives, coupled with restrictive contract systems, bind the female domestic worker to her employer and create an environment conducive to exploitation and involuntary servitude.

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