This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Wadsworth Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 11th (which came out in December 2010), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.
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Monday, August 2, 2010
Maid in Kuwait
Throughout the oil-rich Gulf States there are hundreds of thousands of women from Asia doing domestic work for wealthy families. They are legal guest workers, but there are many signs that they are not being treated as guests. The New York Times takes up the situation in Kuwait where hundreds of Asian women have sought refuge in their respective country's embassy because they have been abused by their employers. Kuwaiti families typically pay a fee to an agency that provides them with one or more women who are provided room and board and wages, with the latter usually being sent back home as a remittance to help support the girl's family in Asia (including Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka). The abuses suffered by some of these immigrants are not unlike those described among undocumented immigrants to the United States, with the difference that these domestic workers are in Kuwait legally, but have few legal protections. There are some who few the situation as nothing less than a form of human trafficking.