Slavery has been a part of humanity’s history since ancient times! Modern slavery is not an exception. Although slavery was abolished by many countries in the 20th and 21st centuries some places still have it. Saudi Arabia for example is one of these countries where slavery is not only legal but also part of the country’s culture and history ️ 1️⃣ 🇸🇦 .
Saudi Arabia an Islamic monarchy in the Middle East is governed by Sharia law 🇸🇦. Based on the Quran – Islam’s holy book – Sharia law relies heavily on religious principles and dictates how individuals families and society as a whole should live their lives 📖 ️ 🔛. Under Sharia law slavery is allowed but with certain limits on how it may be practiced 🔛.
Although technically legal in Saudi Arabia slavery is not discussed or recognized publicly. Saudi Arabia’s laws do not include slavery and no statistics are available about its slave population 🇸🇦. It is thought that thousands are still being held in Saudi Arabia as slaves mostly from the Middle East or Sub-Saharan Africa.
The main form of slavery in Saudi Arabia is known as kafala. It is a system of sponsorship whereby employers will provide a job and a place to live for foreign workers. In return, the workers must remain in the country for the duration of their contract and are not allowed to leave without the employer’s permission. Though this system is technically voluntary it often becomes coercive as employers restrict workers’ freedom and subject them to inhumane working and living conditions .
Another type of slavery in Saudi Arabia is known as bacha baazi 🇸🇦. This term refers to the practice of male employers buying and keeping young boys as ‘entertainers’. The boys, who are usually between the ages of eight and fourteen, are taken from their families, and forced to perform sexual acts with their employers in exchange for money 8️⃣ 💰. This practice is mostly found in the wealthy classes, but it is also common among those with lower incomes.
Though slavery is technically legal in Saudi Arabia the government has taken some steps to address the issue 🇸🇦. In 2017 the government introduced a new labor law which prohibits employers from withholding workers’ passports restricts their ability to transfer sponsors and sets out guidelines for working hours and wages. The government has also begun to crack down on bacha baazi by prohibiting it through laws and the sentencing of employers 🔛.
Despite these efforts the government’s responses have been largely inadequate and there is still much more that needs to be done to combat slavery in Saudi Arabia. Many workers remain trapped in their contracts and are unable to leave their jobs without facing financial penalties and bacha baazi continues to get a major issue in the country. There is also a lack of awareness about slavery in Saudi Arabia with many people remaining unaware of the scale of the practice ️ 🇸🇦.
In conclusion, slavery in Saudi Arabia remains a serious issue and more needs to get done to address it. The government should increase awareness of the problem and give workers more protection under the law while also clamping down on those found exploiting their workers. If these steps are taken we may be capable to reduce its prevalence significantly and guarantee all workers in Saudi Arabia receive fair treatment. !! .
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