Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Children – The Real Victim of Housemaid Culture in Saudi Arabia

The majority of the psychological problems found in the children today, especially in the Eastern Province are caused by poor parenting. This is particularly more so when these parents hand over their children to maids or domestic workers who are often not trained themselves to handle and look after a child. Director of Jalawi bin Abdul Aziz Center for Child Development, Ahmed Al BuAli stated that many parents were actually running from the responsibilities associated with parenting i.e. caring for their children.

Director Al BuAli stated in his talks with the media that a study had been conducted which found that almost 90 percent of all the abuse cases involving children were caused by the absence and negligence of parents. 37 percent of the children that are being victimized to abuse by their domestic helpers are still in the primary school level while about 28 percent of them are at the high school level. He stated that around 70 percent of all the orphaned children are victims to psychological abuse.

These grim indicators show us that there is an immediate need to refocus ourselves towards saving our children, as they are the future of the human race. Children should be better taken care of socially, physically and also psychologically. Director Al BuAli stated that the negligent parents must not surrender the fate of their children and also must not surrender their role as parents to the nannies, maids and other domestic staff. He added that some people who can barely afford to hire help will do so.

Director Al BuAli added that the people of Saudi Arabia must start taking interest in the activities of their domestic help and also question the culture in which the maids or other help were raised in their own country. If you scroll or surf through any of the social media platforms you can clearly see helpless desperate parents looking for domestic help. Women in social gatherings can also often be seen talking about maids and the problems they might be facing with them.

Those parents who have delegated their responsibilities towards their child on to the nannies and the maids have put the development of their children at risk at a crucial stage. Parents must be looking for signs of abuse in the way their children are behaving. These signs may include acting out, regressive behavior, being distant to people, constantly fearful or crying or changes in eating patterns and preferences. Parents must also be aware of signs of extreme behavior such as playing with sharp objects, lack of interest in any activities which they were previously engrossed in such as the playing of an instrument or sports. The director stated that all the above symptoms or sign show that the child is being abused or mistreated. There are around 716,480 children in the Eastern Province alone, with 104,581 in Qatif, 132,341 in Dammam and finally around 220,750 in the region of Al Ahsa.

Source: Arab News

Torture Cases in Saudi Arabia
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  2. Housemaid to be paid SR 68,000 after Legal Case against Sponsor
  3. Murders by Housemaids in Saudi Arabia
  4. Factors to consider when selecting a Housemaid
  5. Treatment with Housemaids in our Houses


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