As many as 7,432 complaints were received from Indians employed in Gulf countries this year, many relating to exploitation and torture by employers.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian parliament, that the highest number of complaints received by Indian missions till November this year was 3,236 in Kuwait, followed by 2,472 in Saudi Arabia.
There were 806 complaints in Bahrain, 413 in Oman, 378 in Qatar and 126 in UAE. There was one in Jordan.
Segregated data of physical assault and sexual abuse and the action taken on each such complaint is being collected from the missions, she said.
Swaraj, who is also Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, said most of these complaints were addressed by the Indian missions by taking up with the foreign authorities concerned.
“Complaints pertaining to employment were taken up by the Indian missions with the concerned foreign employer and labour officials in that country,” she said.
The Minister said India has signed MoUs with the six GCC countries and Malaysia to ensure that the host country will take measures for protection and welfare of the workers in the organised sector and that recruitment and terms of employment will be in conformity with the laws of both countries.
She said the Ministry had set up a 24X7 helpline ‘Overseas Workers Resource Centre’ in Gurgaon, which provides information and guidance on all matters and problems pertaining to overseas employment of Indian nationals.