Last Updated: Monday, 23 November 2015, 15:09 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2002 Trafficking in Persons Report - Saudi Arabia

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 5 June 2002
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2002 Trafficking in Persons Report - Saudi Arabia, 5 June 2002, available at: [accessed 25 November 2015]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Saudi Arabia (Tier 3)

Saudi Arabia is a country of destination for trafficked persons. Trafficking victims who come to Saudi Arabia in search of work are put into situations of coerced labor. Victims come primarily from Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines to work as domestic servants and menial laborers. Many low-skilled foreign workers have their contracts altered and are subjected to extreme working conditions and physical abuse.

The Government of Saudi Arabia does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Saudi Arabia formally abolished slavery by royal decree in 1962; however, there are no laws specifically related to trafficking. The government has an extensive system of labor courts that enforce the terms of work contracts. However, some workers are exempt from labor law, including farmers, herdsmen, drivers, and domestic servants. Regarding protection of victims, the government has made minimal efforts. The Ministry of Labor runs a reception center for domestic servants. In cases where the Ministry of Labor is unable to resolve disputes with the employer, the domestic is deported. Domestic servants who are victims of trafficking may seek assistance from their embassies, several of which provide shelter and refuge where maids may stay while awaiting resolution of their cases or until they are deported. Government activities to prevent trafficking in persons have been minimal.

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