Nowadays, thousands of dead, drowned in the oceans and seas that separate Africa from Europe or of thirst and fatigue through the ergs of the Sahara, and the Covid-19 pandemic continues to rage in the world, the trade in domestic workers continues on the web, via hashtags #housemaidavailable, #maidforsale… or “#cleaningladyforsale”.
By Boubker El Badri
The despicable trade in domestic workers and minors from Africa, Asia (Far East) continues on the Internet. Worse, web giants, such as Apple, Google, Facebook via its Instagram platform, “endorse” such baseness insofar as they house Applications, downloadable from the App Store, Google Play, Instagram… which are called 4Sale , Haraj… with explicit or thinly veiled hashtags. Indeed, thousands of housekeepers and minor children (under 18) are sold and bought, without their knowledge, on these platforms. What is more dramatic is that the “commodity” ignores the transactions in which it is at the center. Lately, a young Lebanese had fun selling a Nigerian girl on Facebook for $ 1,000 … since then he has changed his mind, creating an outcry on the web and is the subject of an investigation. Discussions are in Arabic, a language that these nationals of Guinea, Philippines, India or Sri Lanka do not understand. The announcements and talks range from “she is… years old, clean and active”, to “she is very smiley and hardworking… you can wake her up at 5am, she won’t mind”, to “if you give an advance, it’s yours ”…
The belly of the beast is still fertile
Since the BBC Africa investigation, led by Jeff Kelly, Adam Brown … these digital giants and their dismemberments, except Haraj who did not deign to answer, have denied and sworn their great gods! The Sandigan Association, founded and chaired by Ann, a former housekeeper who was exploited and sent to prison for a year, brings many testimonies that prove that little has changed.
If today, the hashtag maidfortransfer of the Kuwaiti platform 4Sale no longer exists as such, Apple, Google and Facebook have denied everything and shamefully referred to unethical allegations that they strictly condemn, including the human trafficking and the exploitation of children. If the countries, from which these innocent people come, taken as a simple commodity without their knowledge, do not constitute themselves guarantors to defend their nationals, bang on the table of the Commission of Human Rights in Geneva … and that the indexed countries , namely Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon where unscrupulous traffickers are rife, do not toughen their laws and regulations against such practices that dishonor human beings in 2020, it is high time that associations of defense of Human Rights are a civil party. It is true that Kuwait introduced more coercive legislative texts in 2015, which grant more rights to this category, raising the minimum age of housekeepers to 21, one compulsory day of rest per week, limited hours by day … Unfortunately, traffickers and bad guys do not respect the laws and continue to practice withholding passports, banning cell phones, kidnapping and worse selling on the Internet! However, the withholding of the passport is illegal under both international conventions and the codes of entry and stay of foreigners and the right of asylum. These conventions are inviolable and must not be violated by civilized states!
Faced with such villainy, it is legitimate to wonder what are the reactions of the African Union (AU), the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) which should be on the front line of the fight against this slavery of modern times ?
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