Muscat: No Objection Certificates (NOC) to hire domestic workers such as maids and nannies from India are being asked for by the Indian embassy.
“The Indian embassy aims at ensuring safe migration and recruitment practices. So, we have made a request to the immigration department in Oman to ask recruiters to obtain a no-objection certificate from the Indian embassy while hiring an Indian housemaid,” Indra Mani Pandey, the Indian ambassador to Oman, told the Times of Oman in an exclusive interview.
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“Currently, an e-Migrate system is online for recruiting people abroad. Recruiters have to apply online to hire any Indian. As the online system is monitored by government agencies, safe migration and recruitment can be ensured. The Indian government stands for safe migration,” the Indian ambassador added.
Sunil Kumar K, an Indian businessman, who approached the immigration department to obtain a visa, was told to get an NOC from the Indian embassy.
“I was told to approach the Indian embassy to get an NOC. The officials at the immigration department said the new system has been put in place since Sunday,” Sunil Kumar said, while adding that he will approach the embassy to obtain the No Objection Certificate.
In 2011, the Indian government introduced changes to the service agreements of housemaids being brought from India to Oman.
The changes were aimed at protecting the housemaids from abuse and providing skilled manpower to the Omani households.
However, according to social workers, many Indian housemaids are brought without following the norms. “Recently also, we have come across a case where an Indian housemaid was brought to Oman without following the norms. Recruitment agencies have their own dubious way. At times, the housemaids find themselves stranded without any proper protection as they had not come through legal channels,” Shameer PTK, a Muscat-based social worker, said. Rothna Begum, women’s rights researcher on the Middle East and North Africa at Human Rights Watch, said efforts to coordinate better were a step in the positive direction.
“Oman should work with countries of origin like India to ensure safe migration of workers and to prevent deceptive recruitment practices. India should also ensure adequate regulation and investigation of agents who deceive workers in India,” she added.