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The Ministry of Labor and Social Development conducted a workshop on Monday at the ministry's HQ that aims to develop work mechanisms at the shelter houses serving female domestic workers, in particular.

The workshop was attended by a number of officials from the Ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs and the Human Rights Commission along with representatives of the shelter houses and dispute settlement committees for female domestic workers.

Adnan Al-Naeem, deputy minister for customer services and labor relations of the ministry, said the workshop is in a bid to enhance the sheltering centers, face internal and external challenges and seek privatization of these centers.

It would raise the effectiveness of these centers and improve services provided to female domestic helpers when they leave their sponsors, applying the best practices in collaboration with related entities, added Al-Naeem.

The deputy minister for customer services and labor relations emphasized that the maintenance of shelter centers comes within the Islamic teachings that urge good treatment and care for workers.

The ministry is keen to protect the contractual relationship between labor parties and the rights of domestic helpers, as well as maintain the bilateral relations between the Kingdom and labor-exporting countries as per the Saudi vision 2030 and the NTP 2020, he said.

Al-Naeem pointed out that paying undivided attention to sheltering runaway maids would stop the black market.

Additionally, the workshop addressed the most pressing issues that encounter the centers for sheltering female domestic workers, giving a significant emphasis to increasing coordination among the concerned entities.

During the workshop, the participants agreed on the need to enhance the role of foreign embassies in the Kingdom to reach organizational, procedural, operational, technical and legislative solutions that the ministry and related entities can adopt.

According to the ministry, such coordination would cause a paradigm shift in improving the performance of shelter houses and achieving stability in the domestic labor sector.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Development has formed a special team assigned to develop a mechanism for shelter houses that serve domestic workers in particular.

The formation of team came to light amid a workshop that was conducted recently to set up the center for runaway domestic workers.

Led by Adnan Al-Naeem, deputy minister for international labor affairs of MLSD, the workshop gave emphasis to releasing its outcomes that go hand in hand with the ministry's direction in terms of enhancing services for aiding domestic workers.

An array of officials explored the most pressing challenges faced by sheltering domestic helpers as well as laid out short-term and strategic solutions that aim to address the best utilization of financial resources and human capitals.  

Meanwhile, this workshop is the stepping stone for a series of other upcoming ones that would be orchestrated in cooperation with related entities including the Ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs. 

Khaled Abalkhail, spokesman of the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, denied if the ministry owns an approved app that provides services for recurring household workers and can be downloaded on smartphones which has been recently circulated in social media.

Meanwhile, the spokesman called upon customers to cling to the website or app branded with Musaned logo as it allows them to follow up on recruitment process that take place in labor-exporting countries that the ministry has entered into pacts with.

Customers who wish to recruit male/female domestic workers can visit the Musaned website at  www.musaned.gov.sa or download the official app that help them review a list of licensed recruitment offices and companies, nationalities  of workers and jobs, in addition to recruitment costs and duration that is set for domestic helpers' arrival, he added. 

He urged them to contact the customer service no. (19911) or visit the ministry website at www.mol.gov.sa in case of inquiry or complaint relating to domestic workers recruitment.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Development has called upon Saudi citizens and expatriates who wish to recruit male and female domestic workers to check the legality of recruitment offices and companies via the Musaned website (www.musaned.gov.sa).

Khaled Abalkhail, spokesman for the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, emphasized that the ministry will take strict and penal measures against fake recruitment agencies that are engaged in promoting domestic helpers via various channels including mobile app, social media and other means.

Abalkhail clarified that some media falls prey to recruitment ads which are posted by fraudsters, unlicensed agencies or middlemen without knowing that such ads are infringing with related regulations and stipulations.

The ministry have been monitoring such deceptive ads as they aim to exploit Saudi citizens and take advantage of their dire needs to acquire domestic helpers, in addition to conducting inspection visits on those agencies to ensure their compliance to the recruitment regulations in the Kingdom, the spokesman added

The recorded cases are thus forwarded to the Ministry of Culture and Information-affiliated legal committees to take necessary measures against them in accordance with the Law of Printed Materials and Publication, he said as well.

Abalkhail pointed out that the website also allows users to review a list of recruitment offices and companies operating under licences as well as go through a number of available nationalities, jobs as  listed recruitment expenses, besides they can be aware of  the duration set for domestic workers' arrival.  

The ministry is keen to protect the rights of labor parties involved in recruitment process as well as serve the interests of stakeholders, Abalkhail confirmed with urging them to report any violation relating to the recruitment of domestic workers through the ministry's multiple channels.

Saudi citizens can submit complaints through either visiting the Musaned website, calling the uniform customer service No. (19911) or showing up at the nearest branch of the ministry that can be found in different regions of the Kingdom.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Development has alerted citizens against falling prey to bogus ads that promote the illegal trade of domestic workers and selling their visas on mass media. These ads are posted by individuals or entities not working under licenses.

The ministry emphasized that it would spare no effort to detect these misleading advertisements and forward their accounts and names to the Directorate of General Security and legal committees of the Ministry of Culture and Information.

Afterwards, the legal agencies are assigned to take legal action against those who violate the domestic recruitment laws in the light of the Law of Printed Materials and Publication as well.

The ministry called upon mass media of all forms to abide by the recruitment regulations that ban the advertisements of selling visas and illicit trading in domestic workers.

Rather, the licensed agencies are allowed to promote their recruitment services of domestic worker, providing that the name of establishment, MLSD permit no. and contact information are published on ads.

Dr. Mohammed Al-Faleh, assistant deputy minister for inspection and development of work environment of the ministry, said that stipulations penalize those who mediate in recruitment and offer the services of household workers for individuals until they get licenses from MLSD.

Al-Faleh said that he ministry warned print media and websites to publish these ads that promote agencies or middlemen who are involved in recruiting home help workers without licenses.

According to the recruitment regulations, such practice is a violation of regulations that leads to deceiving citizens and exploiting their dire need to hire domestic workers, he added.

The assistant deputy minister for inspection and development of work environment urged citizens and residents who want to leverage the services of domestic workers to benefit from the Musaned portal at (www.musaned.gov.sa).

Through the e-portal, they can review a list of licensed recruitment offices and companies along with the nationalities of workers and jobs available to explore in addition to recruitment costs and the arrival of domestic workers, he added.

Customers can inquire or file a complaint regarding the domestic labor by contacting the MLSD’s customer service number (19911) or emailing via the ministry’s website (www.mol.gov.sa).

Also, customers can report domestic workers who violate residence regulations by contacting the Ministry of Interior’s customer service number (989).