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Unlawful to hire domestic workers in Oman on social media sites

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Recently, social media platforms, especially Facebook pages and groups, have now become marketplaces to subvert the role of recruitment agencies for hiring a domestic worker.

Social networking sites should not be used to hire domestic workers, an official from the ministry of manpower said.

“It’s illegal to put advertisements to hire and fire a domestic worker in Oman on social media networking sites,” the official added.

Recently, social media platforms, especially Facebook pages and groups, have now become marketplaces to subvert the role of recruitment agencies for hiring a domestic worker.

These groups are country specific, but also provide cross-border recruitment, bypassing certain moratoriums in place throughout the GCC. These groups and pages demonstrate that bans do little to protect workers, and in fact make them more vulnerable.

Discussions include “visa transfers”, “part-time”, “maid-sharing”, “live in” and “live-out” and a whole host of other ways of navigating the narrow and difficult path of hiring and housing a domestic worker.

According to Vani Saraswathi, associate editor at MigrantRights, recruitment on social media can easily slide into the sale and trade of women, made all the more possible by kafala- or sponsorship-based – labour management.

“No doubt these pages and groups provide a much-needed space for employment mobility and flexibility that the broken recruitment industry and the strict sponsorship system lack.

“But bypassing broken regulations and systems still leaves workers in an unprotected space. GCC states should recognize that the element of choice in this kind of recruitment, for both employers and workers, needs a place in the legal framework,” Vani said.

Source: TimesOfOman

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